Dr Lam Pin Min, Senior Minister of State for Transport and Senior Minister of State for Health of the Republic of Singapore led the first high-level delegation from Singapore to Panama under the new government of Panama.
Dr Lam met with several ministers of the government of Panama, as well as leaders of the business community. He was accompanied by Mrs Mary Seet-Cheng, Non-Resident Ambassador of Singapore to Panama, as well as officials from the Ministry of Transport, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) and Enterprise Singapore.
2. During the visit, Ms Quah Ley Hoon, Chief Executive of MPA, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Mr Noriel Araúz, Minister of Maritime Affairs and Administrator of the Panama Maritime Authority (AMP) to strengthen maritime relations between both countries today. Dr Lam and Mr Alejandro Ferrer, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Panama witnessed the signing of the MoU.
3. Under this MoU, the maritime authorities of Panama and Singapore will cooperate on maritime matters including the promotion of the use and acceptance of ship’s electronic certificates to facilitate port state inspections, the exercise of port state control (PSC) inspections  by both countries, as well as personnel exchange.
4. Singapore and Panama are the top five ship registries in the world. Vessels registered with either Panama or Singapore calling at each other’s ports will benefit from faster checks and clearances. The use of electronic certificates and cooperation on PSC reduces administrative burden of issuing, sending and keeping hard-copy certificates on board, facilitates regulatory oversight and enforcement action by the authorities and expedites port clearances.
5. Dr Lam said, “The Singapore and Panama ship registries are among the largest in the world. This cooperation will strengthen maritime relations between our two countries. It will also yield significant benefits through speedier port clearances for vessels registered with our two countries calling at our ports.”
6. “Panama’s and Singapore’s maritime sectors have always had excellent relations but this MoU between our countries will address important technical issues for both Ship Registries. We are pleased to cooperate and bring to our customers and ship owners the most advanced technologies to alleviate the administrative burden and facilitate access to port state inspections, port state control inspections, and port clearances. It will be of great benefit for Singapore and Panama Ship Registries,” said Mr Noriel Araúz.
 PSC is an inspection function on visiting foreign ships to verify their compliance with international rules on safety, pollution prevention and seafarers’ living and working conditions.