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Panama celebrates Centenary at Seoul for Panamanian flag registry
Wednesday, August 30, 2017, 09:13:11 Paul Yoon
Panama marks the centenary this year since it opened Panamanian flag registry in 1917. Panama plans to celebrate the centenary at home at a ceremony from Oct. 1 until Oct. 3, inviting important guests from over the world. Preceding the planned anniversary at home, Panama threw the overseas dinner reception party only in Korea in separate invitation of major Korean shipping officials in overseas celebration of the centenary.

The Embassy of Panama in Seoul celebrated at 1800hrs on Aug. 24 the centenary anniversary at Millennium Hilton Hotel, Seoul. The ceremony was attended by the important Panamanian officials including Panamanian Ambassador to Korea, His Excellency Ruben Eloy Arosemena Valdes, Alejandro Agustin Moreno Velasquez and Panama Maritime Authority Deputy Administrator, as well as by the important Korean officials including Vice Minister Kang Joon-Suk of MOF (Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries), Chairman Youn Jae Lee of KSA (Korea Shipowners’ Association), along with CEO C. K. You of Hyundai MM and CEO President Sung-Yob Choo of Pan Ocean and other related shipping officials.

Ambassador Arosemena to Korea said in the Centenary ceremony in the day: “The overseas Panamanian Centenary Anniversary is celebrated only in Korea. This means that Korea is a very important shipping power and shipping partner with Panama. Panama and Korea have closely been cooperating for long for shipping service development. We look forward to the cooperation between two countries further consolidated and have asked the Korean government to ink an MOU on shipping logistics cooperation between two countries. We hope that the MOU should be sealed in celebration of the Panamanian flag registry Centenary.

Vice Minister Kang Joon-Suk of MOF said in his congratulatory greeting in the day: “Panama is the world-largest convenient flag registry country, and is consolidating its position as the logistics hub center based in the Central and South America. Korea will spare no efforts to cooperate in shipping affairs with Panama, and will put the finishing
touch to the MOU on shipping logistics now on the table, under which we will promote various tie-up projects including investment in infrastructure of shipping logistics in both countries and shipping information exchange with each other.”

Chairman Youn Jae Lee of KSa added, citing with a particular emphasis: “We convey our thanks to Panama for its positive support in election of Kitack Lim as General Secretary of IMO in 2015. The paradigm in the global marine services is rapidly shifting. Let us wisely cope with the changing paradigm.

Chairman Lee requested that the Panamanian government should cooperate with shipping players to deal with IMO’s regulatory SOx emission control due in 2020 by deferring it further for next five years, and that it should also try its best to adjust Panama Canal toll at a reasonable level.

Meantime the Panamanian government marks the centenary this year since it nationalized its flag registry procedures on Dec. 15, 1917, with the number of its flag registered vessels tallied at 8,000 of 220 million grt, making Panama the world largest convenient flag country.

For the present moment, Korea-controlled vessels flying Panamanian flag represent a total of 351 ships accounting for 46.8% of Korea’s total tonnage. Korea ranks the world’s 6th largest state with its tonnage registered with Panama, and is one of the top-ranking countries using the Panama Canal.
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