From October 20 a decree will be in effect which integrates into a single document the national legislation and the Uniform Central American Customs Code, necessary for Panama's full integration into the block.
The Director General of Customs, Jose Gomez Nunez, told Capital.com.pa that"... the institution is prepared for the implementation of Cabinet Decree No.
A rise of up to 25% in the value of the cargo, and possible total loss is the result of the slowness with which goods are transported through the region.
"Four times slower than the world average"is the speed at which the terrestrial cargo moves through Central American countries according to Jaime Granados, from the Inter - American Development Bank (IDB).
Negotiations have started to evaluate alternatives for integrating the Mexican electricity market into Siepac.
Salvador Lopez, temporary president of the Electric Interconnection System for Central American Countries (SIEPAC) told Prensalibre.com that in the meeting they will start to assess the legal mechanisms that could be used to realize the integration.
The project that intended to connect the Tecun Uman San Marcos line with the line belonging to the Compañía de Ferrocarriles Chiapas-Mayab de México will not be viable before 2017.
The initial idea put forward by President Maldonado in 2015 was that the Mexican train known as "La Bestia" (The Beast), would enter Guatemalan soil through Tecun Uman, where it would receive cargo to be transported from Central America to Mexico and the US.
The State of the Region indicates that the asymmetries between the most regulated markets such as Costa Rica and others that are freer such as Guatemala and El Salvador constitute an obstacle to progress of the regional market.
Regional Integration section, the V Report on the State of the Region:
The economic and political stability that prevailed between 2011 and 2014 was not taken advantage of to implement relevant measures to deepen the policy of regional integration.
From the "Regional Integration" section of the V Report on the State of the Region 2016":
Between 2011 and 2014, the Central American Integration System (SICA) did not face shocks such as the political crisis or the global economic recession that impacted this work at the end of the last decade.Despite this more favorable context, no significant progress was made in the integration process: no evidence was found that Member States had taken significant initiatives to deepen integrationist policies or modify the structure of regional institutions.
A new web platform belonging to the SIECA aims to simplify and harmonize procedures for the sanitary registration of processed foods and beverages in Central America.
A statement issued by the Sieca explains that"...TheRegional Integration System for Health Records(SIRRS) is a regional automated system for the recognition of medical records to be administered by SIECA and aims to simplify, harmonize and automate procedures for sanitary registration of processed foods and beverages in Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. "
Transmission lines in the regional SIEPAC system are being used to distribute electricity internally in countries, curtailing their capacity for international exchange of energy.
When the US President Barack Obama visited Central America in 2013, he warned that "energy costs in this region are three times what electricity costs in Washington, and that represents a huge disadvantage for companies".Two years before that, all countries, from Guatemala to Panama, were committed to creating the necessary infrastructure for the Regional Electricity Market (MER) to be efficient.
While authorities have reactivated the process for binational customs liberalization, entrepreneurs have pointed to constraints on issues related to bureaucracy, corruption, and infrastructure at border crossing points.
The governments of Guatemala and El Salvador have resumed work in Technical Groups to liberalize binational border posts. In a statement, they reported that dialogue has been revived over customs, sanitary and phytosanitary issues, migration, security, and legal and tax issues.
There is still no legal framework to manage the international cooperation funds that would finance the implementation of the customs union between the two countries.
Even though the Central American Economic Integration Secretariat (SIEC) announced "progress" in the process of the Customs Union between Guatemala and Honduras, Elperiodico.com.gt denounced the obstacles preventing it, "... the most visible being the establishment of a ministerial body. The body has still not been certified and therefore can not approve the creation of a "structural fund" where international cooperation resources would be deposited. "
The decree approved by the Guatemalan Congress was the missing step needed to implement the free movement of people and goods between the two Central American countries.
From a statement issued by the Ministry of Trade:
Guatemala, January 22, 2016. The Congress of Guatemala yesterday approved a Protocol Enabling the Deep Integration towards the free movement of people and goods between the Republics of Guatemala and Honduras.
It has been reported that the passage of cargo and passengers through the border post of Peñas Blancas is closed due to the crisis caused by the presence of Cuban migrants in the area.
The Costa Rica union of importers reported that between November 16th and 17th several vans loaded with goods are being held up at the border post, waiting for the passage to be opened in both directions.
"The ongoing economic recovery in the United States and persistence of relatively low oil prices will provide favorable tailwinds to the region.Because of supply constraints, the region is expected to maintain a moderate pace of growth in coming years."
From the press release by IMF:
Central bank governors, finance ministers, and banking superintendents of Central America, Panama, and the Dominican Republic, and senior IMF officials met in El Salvador on July 23-24 to review the economic outlook for the region and strategies to strengthen policy frameworks and raise inclusive growth. The regional conference saw the participation of the President of El Salvador, Salvador Sánchez-Cerén; Governor of the Bank of México, Agustín Carstens; Director of the Netherlands Bureau of Economic Policy Analysis, Laura van Geest; and former Finance Minister of Perú, Luis Carranza.
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