Panama Star During a hectic week in Panama a mission of young university students with impressive intellectual and community resumés has met with business leaders and received briefings on the current Free Trade negotiations with Canada.
Meanwhile, Terry has been lobbying businessmen to support his dream of extending the Global Vision program to Panama, enabling talented young citizens to travel to other countries to investigate and report on trade and cultural opportunities, and of giving Canadian graduates access to internships with Panamanian businesses.
The students arrived last week, and launched into an immediate networking program that took them late into the night, and to the Manzanillo port development, before enjoying life as tourists over the weekend, and attending a reception hosted by the Canadian ambassador to Panama, Patricia Langan-Torrel.
On Monday they kicked into high gear with a breakfast meeting with business leaders and then in small groups, travelled on mentored tours of business and educational locations including The Howard Development and the City of Knowledge.
Typical of the guided tours was a detailed introduction to the production of dairy products and fruit juices at the Estrella Azul plant. led by the president, Frank Tedman, whose grandfather came to Panama from Ontario Canada to grow coffee in Boquete.
So it was a natural progression to move from milk production and packaging to another and savour the roasting of coffee beans for Palo Alto, and to take part in a tasting test.
On Tuesday the mission members were at the Ministry of Industry and Commerce for a comprehensive briefing on the state of the Free Trade Agreement, another focus of the Prime Minister who believes that Canada should be playing a greater role in Latin America, without the trappings of Empire.
The Canal museum lunch with the First Lady, Vivian Fernandez de Torrijos, and walking the old city followed.
In the evening a reception for team members, embassy staff and supporters of the mission, with Global Vision President Clifford, seemingly as spry as when the day started.
Today, the young ambassadors head to the City of Knowledge to view Canadian involvement in programs and later will fly to Costa Rica to complete the mission.
On their return to Canada the participants will be involved in producing comprehensive marketing reports for their sponsors located in all corners of the country, from British Columbia to Newfoundland.
Like the Free Trade Agreement, their visit will produce benefits for both Panama and Canada.