Panamanian President Ricardo Martinelli (L) with Haitian President Michel Martelly. Photo: Joseph Guyler Delva
By Joseph Guyler Delva
PORT AU PRINCE, Haiti (HCNN) -- Haitian President Michel Martelly and his Panamanian counterpart, Ricardo Martinelli, last Wednesday signed an agreement to increase cooperation between both countries in sectors such as health, trade and environment.
Martinelli, whose visit was the very first of a Panamanian leader to Haiti, said his country will deepen its cooperation with the Caribbean country.
"I am very happy to be in Haiti to work with President Martelly to deepen our cooperation for the benefit of both countries," Martinelli told HCNN on Wednesday.
The Panamanian leader said his country's market is open for Haitian products and urged Haitian entrepreneurs to exports goods and products manufactured in Haiti.
"I've seen a lot of good products in Haiti made by very smart and skillful creators and designers," Martinelli said. "We are looking forward to welcoming such great and original products in Panama," he stated.
Martelly announced an increased in direct flights from and toward Panama, which will help trade development and interaction between the two populations.
"We are working on several fronts to serve the interests of both countries in the framework of a relationship based on solidarity, genuine friendship and mutual respect," Martelly said.
"Flights between Panama and Haiti will increase from four to six per week and visas to enter Panama will now cost $50, compared to about $900 previously," he indicated.
The Panamanian leader left Haiti on Wednesday, at the end of an historic two-day visit to the Haitian capital Port-au-Prince.