From January 31 to February 2, 2018, on the sideline of the 40th Anniversary of the Sister-city Agreement between Panama and Imabari, a delegation from Imabari made an inspection visit to Panama in order to know the logistic and maritime infrastructure in our country. 。
The delegation was headed by the Deputy Mayor of Imabari City, Mr. Hiroshi Ochi, on behalf of the Mayor Mr. Ryoji Kan (who was unabled to join due to health condition) and composed of the President of City Council of Imabari and executives of important ship companies from the said city. During the visit, the delegation was accompanied by H.E. Ritter N. Díaz, Ambassador of Panama to Japan, and Mr. Rafael Aparicio, Consul-General of Panama in Kobe.
The inspection tour started with a visit to the Cocoli, Miraflores and Agua Clara locks of the Panama Canal. The delegation could observe the operation of the expanded Canal and the navigation of the Neo-Panamax ships. In Miraflores Lock, they participated in a luncheon meeting offered by the Panama Canal Administrator, Mr. Jorge Quijano, in which the participants could exchange opinions about the Canal toll and other business areas that the Canal is developing.
In addition, the delegation carried out a courtesy visit to the Panama Maritime Authority (AMP) and participated in a dinner by invitation of the Consulates-General of Panama in Tokyo and Kobe, with the presence of Mr. Jorge Baracat, Panama Maritime Administrator. In this occasion, the delegation members could exchange opinions with the AMP’s officials about the advantages of Panama ship registry, enjoying a Panamanian folkdance presentation.
Afterwards, the delegation visited the Colon Free Zone, where the members received a presentation from Mr. Manuel Grimaldo, General Manager of the company, about the incentives and services of the said free zone, emphasizing the strategic location of Panama.
During the tour in the Colon Free Zone, the delegation visited Koyo Latin America S.A., a Japanese organization established in the free zone. The members had an opportunity to observe the logistics and warehousing advantages in the free zone of Colon, including the import and re-export of the products delivered to Latinamerican region. Also, the delegation had an inspection visit to the Balboa Port by courtesy of Panama Ports Company, in which they inspected the port infrastructure and the containers movement.
It is important to point out that this official visit counted on the participation of important ship companies in Japan to promote the Panama ship registry and the logistic platform of our country.