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IDI Hosts Panama’s Minister of Commerce, Industry

Apr 14, 2010 3:07 AM   By IDI
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Press Release: Panama’s minister of commerce and industry, Roberto Henriquez, was the guest of honor at a luncheon hosted by the Israel Diamond Institute Group of Companies (IDI) in Ramat Gan yesterday. The minister was accompanied by the vice minister of foreign trade, Jose Domingo Arias, and Panama's ambassador to Israel, Roberto Arango. All three visited the Israel Diamond Exchange (IDE) earlier that day. The luncheon was attended by Israeli diamond industry leaders.

IDI's chairman, Moti Ganz, welcomed the Panamanian delegation with a toast and 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. Thank you for coming to Israel.”

Ganz presented the minister with a silver model of the menorah (candelabrum) that stands outside the Knesset.

Minister Henriquez surprised the Israeli participants by greeting them in Hebrew. He said, “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," he continued. "They have been meeting with Israeli companies and it is a very productive visitThe 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.”

Israel's 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.

IDI's managing director, Eli Avidar, welcomed Panama's ambassador to Israel, who is newly appointed to this position. “We are looking forward to developing closer ties with you,” he said.

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, the country's growth was 11 percent and in 2009, it was 2.4 percent.

“My mission is to encourage trade between the two countries,” Arango added.

Minister Henriquez also spoke about the $5 billion Panama Canal Expansion Project, which will be completed in 2014.

“This expansion will have an effect on the whole world. Ports in Miami and Houston are already working to accommodate the larger ships that will now be able to pass through the canal,” he said.

Rapaport News is not responsible for, and does not endorse, the content of any press release. Press releases are not written by us and are provided only as additional information for our clients.
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Tags: IDI, Israel, Israel Diamond Exchange, Israel Diamond Institute, Press Release
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