Panama and Paraguay celebrate in 2013 twenty years of bilateral cooperation, which has been significantly strengthened and intensified especially in the last five years. Paraguay’s friendly relations with Panama have produced tangible results such as, among others, Panamanian air carrier COPA’s direct flights between Asuncion and Panama City, thanks to an agreement signed by both governments in 2007.
Paraguayan authorities are highly active and constantly share valuable information and expertise with their Panamanian counterparts, especially in areas such as: hydroelectric power and applied technology, bilingual training programs for the armed forces, assistance in improving performance of public health projects, and education reform, as well as the implementation of best practices in agriculture in addition to other assistance.
On the other hand, Panama City shares with Asunción its successful and long experience in the area of shipping and cargo management, port administration, financial systems reform, as well as tropical disease treatment and social housing programs.
A bilateral cooperation program, for the next two years, was determined at the bilateral technical commission quarterly meeting held in Panama City at the end of August 2012. Both countries enjoy excellent collaboration on the following areas: judicial cooperation, legal assistance in trans-border crime, transfer of criminals between both countries, abolition of visa requirements and restitution of stolen cultural property.
Panamanian police officers have received training from Paraguay’s elite police forces and military training academy. Paraguayan diplomats and national security officers are actively negotiating a bilateral agreement with Panamanian colleagues that would make a more effective war against region drug smuggling cartels, related organized crimes and money laundering.
The extensive partnership and cooperation between Asuncion and Panama City, is additionally based in another important pillar that of bilateral trade exchange.
In late 2012, the foreign ministries of Panama and Paraguay signed a bilateral agreement that would further stimulate and promote bilateral trade. In 2010, the amount of Paraguay's products exported to Panama was doubled, consisting in more than $13.7 million as compared to the previous year which consisted of only $6 million. In 2011, Paraguayan exports reached a monetary value of more than $6.8 million while products imported from Panama totalled $3.9 million. Bilateral trade relations have been predominantly in favor of Paraguay even it has no sea coast, relying on riverine ports.
Both countries face an opportunity to unify their respective strategies towards maximizing the use of Paraguay's wealth of natural resources and Panama's favorable geographic position, characteristics that would immensely help and reinvigorate the economies of both nations.