Israel Diamond Institute Group of Companies (IDI) hosted a luncheon in Ramat Gan, in honour of Panama’s Minister of Commerce and Industry Roberto Henriquez as guest of honour, accompanied by the Vice Minister of Foreign Trade Jose Domingo Arias and the Ambassador of Panama in Israel Roberto Arango. The luncheon was attended by Israeli Diamond Industry leaders.
IDI Chairman Moti Ganz said, “In the past year a diamond exchange was established in Panama and you began to develop your trade in diamonds. We are hoping that in the future there will be more transactions with the Israeli Diamond Industry. You have an open door with us for the diamond trade.”
Minister Henriquez mentioned, “My visit is a follow up to my President’s visit. President Martinelli has changed Panama’s relations with Israel. We are seeking to strengthen the bonds with Israel. In the last few months we have signed five bilateral agreements with your country. The sixth one was signed this week with the Israeli Minister of Industry, Trade and Labor and is aimed at boosting the financial and commercial cooperation between the two countries. My delegation also consists of a private enterprise group. They have been meeting with Israeli companies and it is a very productive visit. He further added that, ‘The diamond trade is relatively new in Panama. I have learned a great deal about the industry in the few hours I have spent with you. We are going to do our best to help this project.” Minister Henriquez also spoke about the $ 5 billion Panama Canal Expansion Project which will be completed in 2014, which will accommodate the passage of larger ships.
Ambassador Arango said, “Since I arrived here I have been amazed. We admire the miracle that you have created here. We have a small miracle of our own.” Panama was largely unaffected by the world economic crisis. In 2008 growth was 11 percent and in 2009 2.4 percent. “My mission is to encourage trade between the two countries,” he added.
Israel Diamond Controller Shmuel Mordechai said that he was speaking for Minister Ben Eliezer in promising to provide Panama’s diamond industry with all necessary support and assistance.
Ganz presented to the Minister a silver model of the menorah (candelabrum) that stands outside the Knesset.