Panama President Martinelli: Connectivity Key to Regional Integration

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Above: US President Barack Obama and Panama President Ricardo Martinelli (Photo: OP)

By the Caribbean Journal staff

Connectivity is key to the integration of the Americas, according to Panama President Ricardo Martinelli, who was speaking at the Sixth Summit of the Americas in Cartagena.

Martinelli proposed eliminating all of the bureaucratic barriers that exist in the region in order to have a better traffic system for people who move from one country to another, and particularly for the movement of goods and services.

“Our approach is based on better connectivity between all the countries in a greater connection between us all,” he said at the plenary session this weekend.

That connectivity includes the internet. US President Barack Obama also called for greater connectivity in that regard.

“We must make an effort to have the internet across all of Latin America,” he said. “Panama is perhaps the first country to provide free internet access throughout the country.”

Martinelli mentioned programmes in Panama aimed at reducing a deficit of information technology.

“By breaking the digital divide and connecting our students, we can put them in a globalized world,” he said.

The Summit, which had a theme of connecting the Americas, concluded on Sunday.

Panama asked to host the event in 2015.