On July 24, the signing ceremony of an agreement on maritime related issues between South Africa and Panama took place in the headquarters of the South African Maritime Safety Authority, in Pretoria (RSA). On behalf of the Republic of Panama and its Government, Mr. Jorge Barakat Pitty attended this ceremony. H.E. Ms. Dipuo Peters, minister of transport, represented the South African counterpart.

This cooperation agreement on maritime related issues includes topics such as support to the seafarers (training of seafarers and marine officers), consulting on port development and marketing of our merchant marine in the African continent, which is the new target of the Panama Maritime Authority.

In his speech, the administrator of the Panama Maritime Authority, Mr. Jorge Barakat underlined the importance of the signature of this agreement. It completes South Africa’s initiative called Blue Economy, whose purpose is developing all the maritime activities, including port development, fishing, training of the seafarers and other issues concerning the registration of vessels.

Upon a request by Ms. Peters, Mr. Barakat promised to consider Panama’s support to South Africa in the coming elections within the IMO, which will take place in December. This support would permit South Africa the gaining of a position within the IMO’s Council. Ms. Peters was very pleased. She also underlined the importance of women’s contribution in the implementation of the agreement as well as the benefits that the signing of this agreement would bring.

Staff members of the South African Ministry of Transport attended the signing ceremony of the agreement. On behalf of Panama, staff members of Panama’s embassy in South Africa, under the direction of H.E. Rodrigo Chiari also attended the ceremony.