President Laura Chinchilla made a day trip to Panama City Tuesday for a meeting of the Central American Integration System (SICA), where she met with regional presidents to discuss foreign investment opportunities and restoring Honduras to the regional organization. Honduras was suspended from SICA after a military coup removed its elected president on June 28, 2009.
According to a statement on the Casa Presidencial website, while in Panama, Chinchilla spoke with the South Korean President Lee Myung-bak about boosting security measures. Lee pledged to support Central America in the training of its security forces, a step that will be included in a memorandum of understanding that is being negotiated between South Korea and the region’s governments.
Panamanian President Ricardo Martinelli said the relationship between Central America and South Korea could draw investment from powerful Korean corporations such as Samsung, LG, Kia and Hyundai.
The meeting was Chinchilla’s first appearance before SICA as president of Costa Rica. During her trip, she also met with Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, who attended the SICA meeting as an observer. Berlusconi was in Panama promoting greater economic ties between Italy and the region.