Besides generating a predictable impact on trade between the two countries, the FTA brings Panama closer to the Pacific Alliance, a block which has already expressed its willingness to integrate the country.
It is estimated that this trade agreement will establish the foundation to create a commercial corridor that allows "... strengthening the position of both countries as privileged platforms for production and distribution of goods and services for both the Americas and for global markets. "
The FTA approved on its first reading by the National Assembly excludes sensitive products such as beef and chicken, dairy, pork, palm oil and plastic products, paper and aluminum, among products.
The bill for ratifying a trade agreement with Mexico excludes agricultural and agro industrial goods which are sensitive to Panama ; such as chicken meat, eggs, dairy products, pork, pork sausages, coffee, wheat flour, rice, palm oil, sauces, tomato paste, potatoes, onions, sugar, juice, fruit drinks, soda plastic products, paper and aluminum.
Entrepreneurs in both sectors celebrated the exclusion of these products from the Free Trade Agreement between Panama and Mexico.
Entrepreneurs in the National Cattlemen's Association (Anagan) and the Pig Breeders Association of Panama (Anapor) welcomed the decision in the FTA negotiations that took into account the request to withdraw these products from the Treaty.
The pre fifth round meeting has finished with the parties having reached agreements on issues on National Treatment and Access of Merchandise to the Market, Rules and Procedures on Origins and Public Procurements.
The V round of negotiations is scheduled for 18 and 21 March in Panama City.
From a press release issued by the Ministry of Economy in Mexico:
The temporary entry of business people, and sanitary and phytosanitary measures are among the topics to be discussed at this meeting.
From February 4th to 8th in Mexico City, a fourth round of negotiations will be held for the signing of an FTA between Panama and Mexico. Some of the topics to be covered in this new round are: temporary entry of business people, sanitary and phytosanitary measures, intellectual property, and others.
The second round of negotiations was described as "a breakthrough" by the Panamanian Minister Ricardo Quijano.
The chief of the Ministry of Trade and Industry said that "during the meeting, held in Mexico from 17th to 20th September, it was possible to advance the discussion and review various topics, including those related to finances and state purchases" , reported laestrella.com.pa.
The Mexican Institute of Intellectual Property is demanding that the FTA under negotiation include a chapter on intellectual property rights.
Miguel Ángel Margáin, director of the Mexican Institute of Intellectual Property (IMPI), made a request to "include" one more chapter "on intellectual property in each treaty to be signed, as occurred in the FTAs signed by Mexico with the United States and Canada in 1994 ", reported Prensa.com.
Negotiations for the commercial understanding between the two nations have started off in a positive light.
Prensa.com reports: "Some of the negotiation issues that were addressed in the first session were: national treatment and market access for goods, rules of origin and procedures, technical barriers to trade and trade defense".
Panama's aspiration to join, as a full member, the Pacific Alliance has led to the resumption of negotiations which were interrupted in 2003.
The two nations have the first round of negotiations scheduled for 27 July in Panama City.
Prensa.com reports: "Although in 2003 the negotiations for an FTA were suspended because of differences over tax issues when the talks were 80% advanced, the Minister of Trade and Industry, Ricardo Quijano, said that the process "will start from scratch".
Besides the interest in developing exchanges of goods and services, Mexico intends, with this agreement, to consolidate its leadership in the Pacific Alliance.
It is expected that in April, a negotiating team from Panama will arrive in Mexico, in order to start a first round of negotiations on route to signing of a Free Trade Agreement, which will not only increase the exchange of goods and services between the two countries, but will also allow greater integration in Latin America and strengthen Mexico's leadership as head of the Pacific Alliance.