Panama: Trade relation with EU deteriorates

Panamanian businessmen accuse the Government of not accepting their mistake and fear that the conflict will affect other issues on the European agenda.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

After the Panama Government tried to blame the EU for "unilaterally" taking away preferential tariffs, without acknowledging that they forgot make the corresponding requests, the European Commission indicated that there will be no turning back on their decision.

Panama simply did not present their documentation within the stipulated time and will now have to wait until the middle of 2010, said the European authorities.

More on this topic

Panamanian government seek fix to EU tariff situation

December 2008

The Ministry of Trade and Industry (Mici) continues to work on trying to find a solution to the EU's decision to exclude Panama from the preferential tariffs.

The president of the Panama Exporters Association (Apex), Maximo Gallardo, confirmed that he took part in two meetings with the Mici on Thursday and Friday past, and that this week they will present the proposal to the Assembly to create a bond that will cover the additional costs for exports to the European Union.

Government of Panama to compensate exporters.

December 2008

Negligence on the part of Panamanian authorities that led to the loss of preferential tariffs granted by the EU will be covered with public funds.

Yesterday the vice minister of Foreign Trade, Severo Sousa, promised a group of organized exporters that he will present an aid package for the export sector to Cabinet that will include reimbursing tax paid in Europe via a compensation fund.

Panama could be left without SGP+

December 2008

Exporters requested an explanation from the Government for the negligence that will probably exclude the country from the preferential tariffs system.

"It will be very difficult to correct this error, and even more difficult for the EU to break its procedure in order to help Panama, since they would be setting a precedent for other countries that did not complete the requirements either," said the president of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Adolfo Linares.

EU extends trade benefits to Costa Rica

December 2008

The European Commission announced that it will grant tariff free access to thousands of Costa Rican products starting next year and until 2011.

The measure from the EC grants an extension of the General Preferential System (SGP-Plus) to Costa Rica and 15 other developing countries, including, several from Latin America.

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