India is exploring the possibility of setting up a logistics hub in Panama, EAM Jaishankar said
Close economic and business collaboration between India and Panama is important, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said during his first visit to the Latin American country earlier this week.

Speaking at the Latin America Business Forum in Panama City on Tuesday (April 35, 2023), he highlighted 10 important reasons due to which Indo-Panama economic business collaboration is important.

He referred to the "very profound transformation" in India which is visible in terms of digital delivery, in terms of renewed interest in manufacturing, and in an unprecedented coming together of infrastructure initiatives.

"India is big, it will get bigger," he remarked, adding that the country's trade was approaching the USD50 billion level. EAM Jaishankar also spoke about India's record exports of USD770 billion this year.

During his address, he explained how, in the course of the pandemic, India established its reputation as a pharmacy of the world by providing vaccines to almost 100 countries and medicines to 150 countries. "It wasn't just the footprint of the Indian pharmaceutical industry, it was actually their ability to ramp it up at the right time," he noted.

EAM Jaishankar also highlighted "the enormous progress" that has been made in terms of digital delivery, for public goods as well as tools of businesses. He went on to speak about the pickup in the manufacturing sector.

"I think what has really changed in India is our ability to produce goods on a scale to meet middle class consumer demands. And as Latin America gets more middle class sized, I would suggest that there's a natural fit between an economy like India, which itself targets the middle class in such a strong manner," he explained.

EAM Jaishankar also touched upon how the Indian brand had grown over the years and the push that was being given to developing talent and skills in India.

Earlier, EAM Jaishankar met with Panama's Foreign Minister Janaina Tewaney Mencomo on Monday, and discussed how to deepen the friendship and cooperation between the two nations.

"Warm and forward looking discussions with FM @JanainaGob of Panama this afternoon. Our shared political values & economic outlook encourages cooperation across multiple domains," he tweeted.

"Discussed stronger business to business ties, connectivity, health & pharma, energy & green hydrogen, semiconductors and mobility in this regard. Noted our close collaboration in multilateral fora. Our discussions in this regard will continue," he added.

Speaking at a joint press briefing, EAM Jaishankar said the specific issues that were discussed included trade & investment and the possibilities of exploring a logistics hub here for Indian companies. "We discussed the challenges of affordable health of more decentralized production of medicines in the world including in this region. We also spend some time discussing possibilities in energy, in renewables," he said.

The External Affairs Minister added fhat the talks have been very helpful in charting the next steps forward in the India-Panama relationship.