The group of countries that allow a wide variety of tariff-free Panamanian products through free trade agreements will be expanded with the ratification of the agreement with Nicaragua, creating a larger network of favorable markets. This can offset the decline in revenues caused by the global crisis.
Mario A. Muñoz, in his analysis of the topic in Martesfinanciero.com, commented: “At a time when dynamics aren’t very encouraging for agro-exports and local industry, Guatemala promises to be an attractive area and a place where 1.7 million kilograms of Panamanian merchandise valued at $1.6 million is headed. And that is only considering the first quarter of the year, according to the General Comptroller of the Republic.”
Authorities announced their intent of negotiating FTAs with Norway, Iceland, Switzerland, and the Principality of Liechtenstein.
These potential new Free Trade Agreements are good news for the Association of Panamanian Exporters. Their president, Máximo Gallardo, argues that this could be their way of entering the European market.
The Peruvian Embassy in Panama expressed interest in starting negotiations for an FTA in 2010.
Peruvian delegates expressed that a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) would be used by their country to promote the use of the Canal and Panama's geographical position. They also indicated interest in using the Colón Free Zone to re-export textile products.
More or less, these documents affect those that seek compensation for the losses incurred by exporters due to the tariff preferences of the EU.
Upon the Panamanian government not having completed on-time the necessary procedures for the renewal of the SGP Plus as established by Europe, Panamanian exporters lost this benefit and were left at a disadvantage against competitors from other countries who continue to enjoy those preferences. A proposed solution to compensate for the incurrred losses is the basis of the creation of this system.
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