Panama, Nov 20 (EFE) .- China will carry out a pre-feasibility study for the construction of a train that links the Panamanian capital with the province of Chiriqui, located on the border with Costa Rica, the Panamanian government informed today.
"The People's Republic of China confirmed its support for the project of the government of the president, Juan Carlos Varela, for the construction of a passenger and cargo train that connects the provinces of Panama and Chiriqui, "said the Secretary of State Communication on Monday.
The Panamanian leader told local television Telemetro that the railway project would cover in just two and a half hours a distance of 450 kilometers and would require an approximate investment of 5.500 million dollars, which the country would pay between 20 and 30 years.
Varela, who is in Beijing on the first state trip of a Panamanian president to China on the occasion of the establishment of the relations between the two countries, met Monday with top executives of China Railway Corporation, one of the largest railway companies in the world, before moving to Shanghai to continue with its official agenda.
"Today we travel from Beijing to Shanghai on a high-speed train to learn about the technology and experience of the Republic. Popular China in the construction of railway systems ", said the president in his Twitter account.
In Shanghai, the economic and financial capital of the country, Varela has planned inaugurate the Panamanian consulate, meet with local authorities and lead business forums and promotional events in the Central American country.
The president's visit has been qualified of "historical" by both governments, given the importance for China of Panama, a key country in world trade.
China is currently the second most important user of the Canal of Panama and the first supplier of the Colon Free Zone, the largest free zone in the hemisphere, located in the Panamanian Caribbean.
On November 17, Varela and his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, held their first bilateral meeting in the Great Hall of the People, in the symbolic Tiananmen Square, and signed 19 cooperation agreements in different economic sectors such as transport, tourism, trade, energy or finance.
Panama decided on June 13 to break diplomatic relations with Taiwan and recognize the principle of "one single China ", thus becoming the second Central American country, after Costa Rica, to establish diplomatic relations with China.