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India, Panama hold foreign office consultations, review bilateral relations

New Delhi: India and Panama held the second foreign office consultations in Panama City on 23 November, and reviewed their bilateral relations, covering areas such as trade and investment, pharmaceuticals, ICT, capacity building, space cooperation, and consular issues.

“2nd India-Panama FOC held in Panama City. Led by Secretary East @AmbSaurabhKumar & Vice Minister Vladimir Franco @CancilleriaPma. Both sides reviewed progress in relations and discussed areas where cooperation could be further deepened,” Arindam Bagchi, spokesperson, external affairs ministry, said in a post on Twitter.

The two sides also discussed cooperation in multilateral fora, the Ministry of External Affairs said in a press release.

“Secretary (East) called on Foreign Minister Janaina Tewaney Mencomo. She emphasized the need for the two countries to deepen their cooperation including in the economic domain and expressed hope that Indian companies will make use of Panama’s locational and logistical advantage to do business in Americas,” the ministry said in the press release.

The two sides agreed to hold the next round of consultations at a mutually convenient date in New Delhi.

“The diplomatic relations between India and Panama were established in 1962. Panama has a Resident Mission in New Delhi and has recently designated a new position of Consul General, Mumbai for providing better and expedited visa-issuance facilities for Indian businessmen and tourists,” the ministry said.

It is estimated that there are around 15,000 PIOs and NRIs (mostly Gujaratis and Sindhis) in Panama. The Sindhi community is mostly engaged in wholesale/retail trade and micro-credit business. The community is financially well-settled and has contributed to the Panamanian society.

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