In November, President Juan Carlos Varela travelled to China to meet President Xi Jimping, where 19 initiatives were signed across a range of areas, including transport (see Central America Briefing Vol 5 Issue 21). Among the agreements was a freight and passenger train project to connect Panama City to the country’s border with Costa Rica. Following Varela’s visit, the Chinese Ministry of Commerce has agreed to press ahead with a feasibility study, to include to the potential benefits, the main technical requirements, estimates on the cost of investment and the technical and non-technical risks affecting the proposed railway. This was confirmed by the signing of an agreement between the Chinese Minister of Commerce, Zhong Shan, and the Panamanian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Luis Miguel Hincapié, which Varela also attended.
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