Minister Tewaney in India

Minister Tewaney Visits India and Meets with Foreign Dignitaries

Marking the first visit of a Panamanian Foreign Minister to India in the last 15 years, Foreign Minister Janaina Tewaney Mencomo traveled to the country in January at the invitation of Dr. Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, External Affairs Minister. During her visit, Minister Tewaney attended the 17th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas Convention – a high-profile event known for strengthening the relationship between the Government and Indian diasporas abroad. This year, the event also provided an opportunity for Minister Tewaney to strengthen bilateral cooperation between the two countries.  

During the event, Ministers Tewaney and Jaishankar held a bilateral meeting, described by Minister Jaishanker as “warm and productive”, and he extended his thanks for attending the Convention. As part of the meeting, the ministers discussed a range of important topics, including opportunities for joint economic growth and cooperation, which culminated in the signing of a memorandum of understanding aimed at strengthening the training of diplomats from both countries. The ministers also spoke on the possibilities of cooperation around the pharmaceutical sector – a topic of priority for Minister Tewaney. During her trip, Minister Tewaney was given a guided tour of the SimbioTec and Cipla Pharmaceutical factories. This proves a significant step for Panama, as it continues to progress towards the goal of becoming Latin America’s pharmaceutical hub – an ambition that requires both domestic and international partnerships with industry leaders such as India.  

In addition to meeting with Mr. Jaishankar, Minister Tewaney participated in several additional engagements, including meetings with Dr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali, President of Guyana, and Chan Santokhi, President of the Republic of Suriname. These discussions served as an opportunity for the Minister to re-emphasize the value in maintaining close ties between the countries. More specifically, as members of the Carbon Negative Alliance, Minister Tewaney and President Santokhi reaffirmed their commitment to mitigating the impacts of climate change and spurring international action in accordance with the Paris Climate Accords.  

As part of her efforts to showcase Panama as an attractive destination for global investors, Minister Tewaney also attended the Global Investors and Voices From the South summits. During these events, the Minister reiterated Panama’s commitment to partnerships with the Global South and recognized the importance of economic cooperation in mitigating the effects of global challenges such as climate and migration. The summits were coupled with a visit to the Indore Special Economic Zone, organized by India’s Ministry of Commerce, which showcased the way in which India is boosting its manufacturing, exports, and employment capabilities.  

Lastly, Minister Tewaney met with industry leaders from the shipping, entertainment, and banking sectors. Speaking with sector leaders such as Ritesh Sidhwani, cofounder of Excel Entertainment, and Harsha Bangari, General Director of India Exim Bank, the Minister laid the groundwork for future avenues regarding partnerships and investments.  

Minister Tewaney’s recent visit served as a critical move in solidifying Panama’s mutual partnership with India. As vital economic and security partners, Panama and India both look forward to building a strong, sustainable, secure future together.