Press Release

Board View

Panama Waste Sector Cooperation Formalized - A Stepping Stone for Entry into the Central and South American Markets

▷ Signing of the ‘Korea-Panama MOU on Waste Management and Circular Economy Cooperation’

▷ Promotion of Korea-Panama Cooperation Project for Improvement of Panama’s Cerro Patacon Landfill

The Ministry of Environment (Minister Han Wha-jin) announced that from April 1 to April 3, a Green Industry Cooperation Team (Overseas Environmental Challenges Local Diagnosis Team) will be dispatched to Panama City, Panama to sign a ‘Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on Waste Management and Circular Economy Cooperation’ between the Republic of Korea and Panama. 

After signing the MOU, the Ministry of Environment plans to establish a foundation for cooperation between the two governments, discussing ways to promote cooperative projects and laying the groundwork for entering the Central and South American markets for domestic green industries. 

Panama has recently faced difficulties in environmental management in the waste sector, with large-scale fires occurring continuously at the Cerro Patacon landfill near the capital, Panama City. In light of this, the country hopes to discuss with the Korean government on Korea’s advanced landfill management and recycling experience. 

In June of last year, through an invitation from the Korean Embassy in Panama, a delegation from the Ministry of Environment and the Sudokwon Landfill Site Management Corporation visited Panama to identify cooperation demands regarding issues such as the Cerro Patacon landfill and to build consensus, initiating cooperation. Subsequently, in July, during Prime Minister Han Deok-su’s official visit to Panama, discussions on this matter were also held, continuously concretizing cooperation between the two countries in the field of waste management and circular economy. 

The Green Industry Cooperation Team plans to sign the ‘MOU on Waste Management and Circular Economy Cooperation’ between both countries’ Ministries of Environment, with the Minister of Environment of Panama Milciades Concepcion at the Panamanian Ministry of Environment building (located in Panama City) on April 1. 

Through this agreement, it is anticipated that a solid government cooperation framework for achieving circular economy goals such as management, recycling, and conversion of waste into energy, and greenhouse gas reduction in Panama will be established. Based on this, the agreement will be able to play a bridging role, allowing Korean green industries to enter the Panamanian market.

On April 2, there will be a collaborative meeting with officials from the Autoridad de Aseo Urbano y Domiciliario (AAUD) and the Ministry of Environment at the AAUD headquarters in Panama City. Additionally, there are plans to inspect the environmental conditions of local landfills in Panama. Through this, alternative solutions such as establishing new landfill facilities and stabilizing existing landfill environments will be explored to address the management issues identified at the Cerro Patacon landfill, which emerged as a demand for cooperation. Subsequently, this will be pursued as a cooperative project between the two countries, with the Ministry of Environment planning to develop this project into a model for cooperation in entering the Central and South American markets.

The Ministry of Environment is actively carrying out comprehensive support activities for winning contracts to achieve its target of KRW 22 trillion and the cumulative effect of KRW 100 trillion in contracts and exports within its term this year. Simultaneously, it is actively pursuing the discovery of promising businesses based on overseas environmental challenges that domestic companies can enter, through initiatives such as government-to-government cooperation. 

Jeong Hwan-jin, Director General of the Global Green Project Team, stated, “Panama is a traditionally important region connecting North and South America, as well as the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans, serving as a crucial bridgehead for entering the Central and South American markets for green industries.” He further remarked, “Based on intergovernmental cooperation, we will proactively discover exemplary cases and create opportunities for domestic companies to enter the promising markets of Central and South America.”

For further information, please contact the Public Relations Division. 

Contact person: Gina Lee, foreign media spokesperson

Phone: +82-44-201-6055

Email: gcjgina