SHANGHAI – The Shanghai customs office said on Wednesday that the first batch of beef imported from Panama had entered the Chinese market, just a little over two years after diplomatic relations were restored between the two countries.
The 23-ton beef consignment was shipped from Panama on June 22. The beef export was made possible as a result of a new bilateral trade agreements between the two sides.
Beef is Panama’s second export to China since the two countries established diplomatic relations on June 13, 2017. Then President Juan Carlos Varela called it a historic step while flagging off the shipment in the Central American country.
Varela, who handed over the presidency to social-democrat Laurentino Cortizo on July 1, decided to switch diplomatic ties to China from Taiwan two years ago.
At the time, Panama had proposed a significant increase in exports to the Chinese market which stood at $42.6 million in 2017, according to official data.
In April, China’s General Administration of Customs allowed a number of Panamanian companies to export beef, pineapple and marine fish, and is set to approve the import of prawns, chicken, pork and dairy products from Panama in the coming weeks.