The Central American country of Panama is well-known for producing tropical fruits like pineapple and banana. The sugar-rich, golden-colored Panamanian pineapple has a special aroma and taste. It is deemed the sweetest pineapple in the world. While Europe has long been its major buyer, few Chinese had the chance to taste Panama's golden pineapple.
However, as China and Panama have recently developed diplomatic ties, the golden pineapple is now just one step away from the Chinese market. A total of 23 Panamanian companies took part in the first China International Import Expo (CIIE) held in November 2018, presenting pineapple and other specialties. Since the Panamanian pineapple had yet to gain quarantine approval for trading in China, its presence at the CIIE was made possible only with a special permission from Shanghai Customs, with the authorization of the General Administration of Customs. It was an impressive debut, opening the way for a great business opportunity.
The popularity of the pineapple among the buyers and visitors at the CIIE revealed to the Panamanian businesses the great potential of the Chinese market. While they were excited about China's demand for high-end fruits, Chinese firms showed a keen interest in importing quality foreign fruits, boding well for a promising partnership.
In his keynote speech delivered at the opening ceremony of the first CIIE, Chinese President Xi Jinping underscored China's commitment to further stimulate the potential for increased imports, broaden market access, and pursue inclusive development for the benefit of all.