PANAMA CITY, Dec. 12 (Xinhua) -- The recently-concluded 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) is relevant to the progress of Panama, said Panamanian observers on Tuesday.
Xinhua spoke with some representatives of Panama's political, academic and business sectors who attended a lecture here on the 19th CPC National Congress given by Song Xiuyan, a member of the 19th CPC Central Committee.
Jose Luis Varela, president of the Panamenista Party, underscored the importance of China's long-term planning and visionary outlook which have helped lift millions out of poverty.
"All of the experiences they have presented are of great interest to us as a government and as a political party," Varela said.
To boost development, Panama is going to cooperate with China to build a cargo and passenger rail system that would link the capital of Panama City with the country's western border with Costa Rica, some 150 km away, according to Varela.
In the long run, the rail system could be extended to the northern part of Central America and Mexico, making it easier and more cost-effective for regional agricultural goods to be shipped to China, said Varela.
Oyden Ortega, president of the Panamanian Association of Friendship with China, said the 19th CPC National Congress highlighted China's plans for the coming years.
Ortega said that some of the goals put forward at the National Congress, such as protecting the environment, combating corruption and fighting poverty, are important for the entire world, and particularly for Panama.
Since China and Panama established diplomatic ties in June, 2017, it is important to continue bilateral exchanges to learn how the two countries can complement each other to benefit both sides, he said.
Leonardo Collado, director of the Regional Center of the University of Azuero, affiliated to the University of Panama, said the 19th CPC National Congress has highlighted China's development plans for the coming years.
Collado also said Panama could play a strategic role in China's development plans, such as the Belt and Road Initiative.
Jorge Barakat, administrator of the Panama Maritime Authority, said the "harmonious" message shared by the CPC's Central Committee expressed a clear desire for global development that goes beyond China's borders.