Raising taxes exclusively on Colombian products is one of the measures that Panama could take until Colombia starts to comply with the WTO ruling.
The Panamanian government has asked the World Trade Organization (WTO) for authorization to use trade measures against Colombia, worth $210 million, equivalent to the effects that the imposition of Colombian tariffs had on the Colon Free Zone.
The union of exporters claims that business opportunities are being lost due to the slow pace of processing and issue of permits and certificates for export.
Juan Bulnes, president of the Panamanian Association of Exporters (APEX), told Prensa.com that"...'For exporters, the National Customs Authority (ANA) and the Ministry of Health (MoH) are a thorn in their side'."
Approval has been given to exemption of import tax for a first contingent of egg cartons.
With this duty free import a solution is underway to the problem of local shortages caused by a fire in the only factory producing such packaging in the country.Panamaamerica.com.pa reports that "...Moldeados Panameños, S.A. estimated they will be able to restore operations in about 10 months. "
Among the goods which will be able to be sold tax-free in the 16 streets in Colon are articles of clothing, footwear, jewelry, phones and watches, among other things.
From December 4 the list of goods which will be able to be sold duty free, within the 16 streets of Colon, will come into effect.Some of the items that were added to the list are: confectionery, electronics, televisions, computers, toys, perfumes, shoes, watches, and jewelry.
For now, Colombia will not comply with the WTO ruling in favor of Panama in the conflict over tariffs on imports of footwear and textiles coming from Panama.
The conflict, which has affected the performance of the Free Trade Zone for more than two years still has no end in sight.Colombia expressed its intention to delay compliance with the ruling that forces the elimination of the mixed tariff,"... Requesting an additional, unspecified, period in which to comply with the recommendations in the ruling in favor of Panama."
Under the terms of the Partial Scope Trade Agreement bovine and porcine meat from Panama will enter the Caribbean country duty-free.
Panamaamerica.com.pa reports that "...Panama received 51 additional lines in its favor which include dairy products such as cheese, a variety of fresh and frozen seafood, juices made from non-tropical fruits, flowers and foliage, fruit and vegetables, tropical fruits, flour, fat and fish oil, sausages, butter, fats, cocoa oil and salt. "
Despite the announcement of projects such as the construction of a workshop for aircraft maintenance and a hotel, the Panamanian airport Enrique Jimenez is still underused and has attracted no attention from airlines.
The airport built during the Martinelli administration was initially designed for cargo and tourism, but lack of demand has meant the terminal has turned out to be an unprofitable investment. Despite the fact that since 2015 Tocumen S.A. has tried to find business deals which would increase the attractiveness of the airport for airlines, the efforts have not borne fruit and the terminal is still underused.
At the close of the first semester 13 new licenses will have been approved giving foreign companies the ability to operate under the Site of Multinational Corporation regime.
The companies that requested permission to set up in the country under the Site of Multinational Corporation (SEM) regime come from the United States, Denmark, Scotland and the Netherlands, among other countries, explained Trade Minister Augusto Arosemena.
A ministerial group has been created to find solutions for keeping these sources of employment going and the involvement of state banks has not been ruled out.
A commission at the Ministry of Economy, Labour and Commerce has been announced, which will include representation of the Groups Wisa and Vida Panama in order to address saving the thousands of jobs at risk.
Tax exemptions and other incentives for companies in the industrial sector are part of the proposals in the bill on Industrial Property Law which is being prepared by the government.
Vice Minister of Commerce, Manuel Grimaldo, told Anpanama.com that "... the bill which is being worked on for industry contains some benefits such as tax incentives, and this sector could be paying a 10% tax instead 25% or 30%. "
..After a year without having approved any new concessions, the government has announced plans to start processing them from 2016, but only for non-metallic mining.
The review of applications and their possible approval will start in early 2016, when the Ministry of Trade and Industry expects regulations on the new law to be ready. The Vice Minister, Manuel Grimaldo, explained that "... the grants to be awarded will be for non metal extractions and metal ones will remain suspended."
On September 22nd and 25th meetings will take place between Panamanian entrepreneurs and investors and European companies interested in exploring business opportunities.
The meeting in London will be on September 22nd and September 25th in the German city of Hamburg. The visit is being organized by the Agency for Promotion and Investment Attraction (PROINVEX) and is expected to include the participation of representatives from the Ministry of Trade and Industry.
The tariff problems with Colombia and the debt held by Venezuela explain part of the 12% drop in trade in the CFZ, which went from $27,400 million in 2013 to $24,000 million in 2014.
In the past two years trade in the Colon Free Zone (CFZ) fell by $6.7 million and an improvement is not foreseen in 2015 as there is no sight yet, at least in the short term, of a solution to the tariff of 5 % added by Colombia to textiles and footwear coming from the Colon Free Zone.
I have six building lots in the Punta Leona Resort ready for construction. I am looking for a partner to provide financing and or construction. Wanted partner for financing and/ or construction in the...
Generates business opportunities by linking supply and demand of goods and services between Central America and the rest of the world.
Operates in Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama
Phone: (506) 225 4786