Central American countries need to implement a series of improvements in customs procedures in order to meet the requirements of the agreement for the facilitation of international trade.
Within two years, as part of the commitments made in the 2001 Doha Round of the Bali Agreement, signed in 2013 by 160 nations belonging to the World Trade Organization (WTO), including Central America, governments will have to harmonize their customs systems ensuring trade facilitation. However, to date institutional progress on issues established by the Agreement such as simplification, harmonization and automation of procedures for international trade have not happened, particularly in relation to the requirements and formalities for import, export and transit of border freight.
The forthcoming entry into force of the Free Trade Agreement between Canada and Panama will boost a business relationship which in the past two years has already increased by 20%.
Final approval of the FTA in the Canadian parliament is still pending, but a final vote in a chamber dominated by the ruling party is only a matter of time and it is expected that it will take place soon.
Real estate brokers in Panama and Canada agreed to create opportunities to promote both housing markets.
In the negotiations of the Free Trade Agreement between Canada and Panama, the Panamanian Association of Brokers and Real Estate Developers met with their counterparts in Ontario and Toronto, Canada, where they agreed to create blueprints for future agreements between the organizations.
Exports from Panama to Costa Rica increased by 36.1% during the first half of 2008 when compared with the previous year.
The entry into force of the Free Trade Agreement between Costa Rica and Panama in January 2009 cleared 90.3% of the tariffs on bilateral trade, according to Leroy Sheffer, director of Negotiations of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry of Panama, in an article in Pa-digital.com.
Important progress was made in negotiations for goods and access of service providers and investors of both countries.
According to laestrella.com.pa: Panama's chief negotiator, Leroy Sheffer said they covered topics that defined the origins of products such as whole grain and instant coffee, oils, fuels, and processed tomatoes to meet industry standard. He also said that almost all the rules to allow us to take full advantage of the Canadian market were discussed, allowing maximum flexibility to utilize non-local raw materials to produce end products.
It will be presented at the III round of negotiations for the signing of a Free Trade Agreement, which will be held from January 12 to 16 in Ottawa.
According to the digital edition of Panama America, pa-digital.com, the vice minister of Foreign Trade, Severo Sousa, said that "the proposal arose after meetings with representatives from the various productive and industrial sectors of the country and from the services export sector, in accordance with previously agreed working positions.
The first round of negotiations will take place in Ottawa from October 27 - 31, said a spokesperson for MICI.
During this first encounter, negotiators will go over topics such as the trade policies of both countries, market access, social corporate responsibility, public contracts, services and investment, cooperation and the strengthening of environmental policies, the source explained.
The Government of Panama started consultations with the national productive sector, prior to the upcoming formal launch of the negotiations for a Free Trade Agreement with Canada.
The consultations will help to establish a negotiation strategy and will have the participation of representatives form the Ministry of Agricultural Development (Mida), the Institute of Agricultural Marketing (Ima) and the Public Services Authority (Asep), and others, a release from the Ministry of Trade and Industry (Mici) of Panama indicated.