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Panama and Its Foreign Relations For Economic Development and Sustainability

Panama and its foreign relations concern itself with two major issues for Panama�s development�the Panama Canal and international trade and shipping. Since Panama is located at the isthmus of Central America, it has good reason to be involved in most foreign counterparts. The number one foreign concern of Panama is focused on the Panama Canal. The history of the Canal, which the United States had influence over, and its current function has great impact on Panama�s economic and political policy. The major concern of Panama is to take over its sovereignty of the Canal which has various historical treaties. As Panama wants to gain sovereignty over the Canal, which is the major source of its trade and economy, it sought support from other nations to renegotiate treaties. At the same time it understands its limit against the United States who has influence over the building of the canal.

Secondary to the concern with the Canal, Panama focused on foreign policy with regards to international trade, banking, and shipping. Because most international ships passing through Central America cross over the Panama Canal, Panama gains economic advantages over this activity. Banking and commerce are also one of the major economic activities of Panama and its foreign relations. Because of the influence of foreign relations to its economic activities, Panama�s policy has concerns on these economic influences.

Aside from the concerns on the Panama Canal and the international economic influence, Panama and its foreign relations is so much involved in foreign memberships by its participation in foreign organizations that greatly contribute its economic development and sustainability. Since January 1, 2007, Panama served in the UN Security Council of the UN General Assembly as one who has been elected on the seat. It is also an active member of the international financial institution such as Inter- America Development Bank, World Bank and International Monetary Bank. Moreover, it is also a member of the Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission. Aside from the tuna industry, Panama and its foreign relations has something to do with organizations for exporting. Panama is also involved in the Union of Banana Exporting Countries in which it is one of the founding members.

Panama and its foreign relations have contributed to its development not only in the development of certain industries but also in general development of the country as part of America. It is a member of the Central American Parliament or popularly known as PARLACEN, and the Central America Integrations System or SICA. To further promote economic development of the country, Panama and its foreign relations in America established the Alliance for Sustainable Development together with other six of its neighbors in Central America. The objective of Panama and its foreign relations and this alliance known as Conjunta Centroamerica�USA (CONCAUSA) is for purposes of providing domestic and foreign policies that support promotion on sustainable development for economy of the participating countries. Finally, Panama and its foreign relations are also involved in the International Criminal Court in which Panama is a member as well. The said foreign organization is a Bilateral Immunity Agreement of its members for the protection of the US military.

Submitted by:

Laurie Cooper

Laurie Cooper, of Cpanama Real Estate Corp., is an expert on Panama real estate. For more information, please visit http://www.cpanama.com.


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