WASHINGTON, April 28, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The following was released today by the Republic of Panama:
"The people of Panama and the United States have a rich tradition of friendship and cooperation. Our long partnership is founded on common values and common interests, and rooted in a mutual commitment to providing a better life for the citizens of our countries.
"I want to thank President Obama today for the opportunity to discuss the important issues which face our two countries. Economic growth and job creation, as well as peace and security in the region, are important areas where the U.S. and Panama are striving for the same goals and we are gratified to be working together as one to achieve them.
"We are especially proud to be moving forward toward unprecedented new opportunities to expand our trade relationship with the United States. A free trade agreement between our two countries will create jobs in both countries. It will create more economic growth in Panama and here in the United States; but, will also have far reaching benefits throughout the region. By creating more opportunities for investment and economic growth, we build a strong defense against the regional difficulties that have long plagued the people of Latin America.
"When I met briefly with President Obama in New York last summer, we discussed finishing our work on the trade agreement. I said at the time, 'We are ready when you are, Mr. President.' I am gratified that today we take a huge step together in cementing our already strong friendship and working toward a brighter economic future as the best of trading partners."
SOURCE Republic of Panama