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11 November 2022

Cook Islands establishes diplomatic ties with Panama

Monday 11 March 2024 | Written by Supplied | Published in Economy, National

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Cook Islands establishes diplomatic ties with Panama

The Cook Islands and Republic of Panama formalised diplomatic relations last week through an exchange of diplomatic notes between the Cook Islands Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Immigration (MFAI) and the Panamanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MER).

In a statement, MFAI said Panama is the fourth Latin American country to formalise diplomatic relations with the Cook Islands – Peru, Brazil and Chile being the other three. Panama is located in Central America, bordering both the Pacific Ocean and Caribbean Sea, between Colombia and Costa Rica.

Foreign Secretary Tepaeru Herrmann said: “Diplomatic relations with Panama avails yet another platform to advance the Cook Islands development agenda as relate to offshore finance, manufacturing, fisheries, shipping, people-to-people and cultural links."

It is likely the Panamanian Government will accredit their Ambassador in Australia to the Cook Islands. 

“Formalisation of diplomatic relations better enables our diplomats to engage with Panamanian officials through headquarters and overseas representatives on bilateral matters as well as in key multilateral settings in which both countries engage such as the IMO, UNESCO, the WHO and others,” said Herrmann

The statement said that MFAI officials will continue to work with Panamanian officials toward deepening cooperation and continue to step up collaboration in the months ahead, with Panama becoming the 64th country to form diplomatic relations with the Cook Islands.

Panama is a small open economy acting as a regional financial and logistical hub that benefits from the activity of the canal, the Colon free trade zone (CFZ) and a strong banking sector. Before the pandemic, it was the fastest-growing economy in the Latin America, with average real GDP growth at +6 per cent.