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Panama delegation to cement ties with Liverpool and the Northern Powerhouse

Senior figures from Panama’s Government, maritime, logistics, education and wider business community visited Liverpool at the end of October to further develop trade and investment relationships between Panama, Liverpool and the wider Northern Powerhouse.

The visit, organised jointly by Liverpool City Region LEP, Liverpool John Moore’s University and the Department for International Trade featured a free to attend “Panama in Liverpool” Conference. This provided a fantastic opportunity for businesses and professionals in the Northern Powerhouse region to meet and hear first-hand from Panama business leaders about the exciting developments there and the range of opportunities this creates and the support available for UK business to trade with and invest in Panama and the wider Latin American market.

The Conference took place on Tuesday 25 October at 1 Mann Island and those who attending the conference had a chance to meet and network with meet the Panamanian delegation and explore the commercial and educational opportunities between the UK and Panama.

After the Conference the delegation toured the City Region’s manufacturing, logistics and education assets including Jaguar Land Rover, Liverpool John Lennon Airport, Mersey Gateway Bridge, 3MG and LJMU. They also visited the Port of Liverpool and took part in the Mersey Maritime Export Club to meet with local exporters.

Among the delegation will be Robert Roy (Minister of the Canal), Rommel Trotsch – President of the Maritime Chamber of Commerce and Jorge Garcia Icaza – President of Panama’s Chamber of Commerce. With them will also be the British Ambassador to Panama, Ian Collard and the UK’s Director of Trade and Investment in Panama City, Ariel Perez Price.

Mark Basnett, Managing Director at Liverpool City Region Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “This is the largest and most senior delegation from Panama ever to have visited Liverpool. Their knowledge and expertise of doing business in Panama and Latin America is outstanding and we encourage businesses and professional advisers from right across the region to come and meet with them. While they are here we will be showing them the City Region’s many strengths and they have a packed itinerary covering maritime, logistics, manufacturing, education and culture. Our aim is to help local business to take advantage of this important growing market and to establish a productive commercial relationship between our two regions.”

British Ambassador, Ian Collard, said: “Panama in Liverpool’ is an exciting opportunity to further reinforce the strong ties between Panama and Liverpool and the northwest of England more generally.

“Following the signing of a sister cities agreement in June 2016, there is much ambition on both sides of the Atlantic to forge closer ties in the maritime and logistics sectors, through new commercial, political and academic ties. I am confident that the conference and visit will provide a solid platform to build relationships for the future.”

Councillor Nick Small, Liverpool’s Cabinet Member for Education, Employment and Skills, said: ‘’It is vital for Liverpool’s future economy that we have strong international relations especially in emerging markets like Central and South America. The benefits of exploring commercial and educational opportunities with Panama could have a big impact on our maritime and knowledge sectors and I’ve no doubt the visit and conference will be a great success.’’