Belt and Road Initiative China-Panama Think Tank Forum Kicks off

[Source]    Confucius Institute at the University of Panama [Time]    2018-12-19 16:07:48 
 

On December 6, 2018 local time, the Belt and Road Initiative China-Panama Think Tank Forum was held in Panama. This Forum was sponsored by Beijing International Studies University (BISU), the University of Panama and the Panamanian Branch of Bank of China, and organized by the Confucius Institute at the University of Panama and the Chinese Studio Section of the Confucius Institute. On the topics of developing economic and trade relationship and cooperation on the people-to-people and cultural exchanges between the two countries, over 200 representatives from different fields of China and Panama expressed their opinions and offered suggestions.


The opening ceremony

On the opening ceremony, Ji Jinbiao, President of the Beijing International Studies University (BISU), pointed out that in recent years, the cooperation between BISU and the University of Panama has achieved great success and the Confucius Institute co-established by the two universities is a significant mark of the concrete results of the China-Panama cooperation. Relied on this co-established platform, the two universities later on can have further deepened and strengthened cooperation in teacher exchanges, student cultivation, scientific cooperation and academic conferences, so as to vigorously promote bilateral exchanges between China and Panama on education, science and culture.

Raúl Eugenio Rodríguez Araúz, former President of the National Assembly of Panama expressed that the Belt and Road Initiative has brought new impetus to the development of Panama and has milestone significance for the country’s development. The diplomatic relations are truly build upon the wishes of the peoples, and it is in the interests of both peoples to strengthenthe bilateral economic and trade exchanges between Panama and China. Enhancing people-to-people and cultural exchanges while promoting the exchanges on economy and trade will benefit the development of Panama.

Liu Peng, former Vice Chairperson of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the National People’s Congress expressed that the Belt and Road Initiative has received wide welcome and active responses from the international community. Panama, richly endowed by its regional advantage, enjoys sound economic complementarity with China. Panama’s joining into the Belt and Road Initiative can both promote the development of China-Panama relations and expand the connectivity between China and Latin America. He suggested that we should give full play to the people-to-people and cultural exchanges working as a bond and fully tap the huge potential in the people-to-people and cultural exchanges between the two countries, so as to build a three-dimensional and interactive bond between the two peoples.

Eduardo Flores Castro, President of the University of Panama expressed that the Belt and Road Initiative has provided rare opportunities for China and Panama to deepen their cooperation in economy and trade, and the establishment of the Confucius Institute at the University of Panama has offered an important base for the two sides to strengthen the people-to-people and cultural exchanges and has also become an important platform to enhance the bilateral friendship. He emphasized that as there are a lot of Chinese people living in Panama, we should pay more attention to the young if we want to improve the mutual trust of the two countries. The University of Panama hopes that in the future, it can enhance the cooperation between the two sides on scholarship, academic exchanges and other fields, as cooperation in education will definitely promote the progress of people-to-people and cultural exchanges greatly.

In the discussion part in the sub-session, the Chinese and Panamanian experts and scholars at the conference have in-depth communication concerning four topics, including the “Belt and Road and the China-Panama relations: opportunity and potential”, “past and present of China-Panama relations: Looking forward while retrospect”, “The Belt and Road Initiative and China-Panama economic and trade cooperation: the power of entrepreneurs” and “China-Panama people-to-people and cultural exchanges in the Belt and Road Initiative: gathering strength in the multi-culture”.


Forum venue

In the closing ceremony, Aladar Rodriguez Diaz, President of the International Maritime University of Panama expressed in his conclusion speech that the Belt and Road Initiative is China’s wisdom that the Chinese government has showed in coping with the new changes and new trends of the global economic development. This forum has not only discussed some critical issues in the cooperation of the two sides, but also helped all circles in Panama get to know the Belt and Road Initiative. Panama needs to give full play to regional advantages and take advantage of the opportunities brought by the Belt and Road Initiative to enhance development, making its trade road smoother. At the same time, he also said that the cooperation in education is very important, so that the two sides should both look forward to the future and make plans for the cultivating international talents.

Wang Jiming from the Panamanian Branch of the Bank of China expressed that this forum has provided a rare chance to let all the experts from both China and Panama get together to discuss some important issues about China-Panama cooperation. The statements of the experts can help the guests at the conference get a deeper understanding about the Belt and Road Initiative and make bigger contributions to this “road of friendship”.

This Forum aims at promoting the cooperation and exchanges between China and Panama and exploring the China-Panama cross-regional cooperation featuring openness, inclusiveness, balance and mutual benefit, so as to jointly promote the economic globalization with more vitality, inclusiveness and sustainability.