NO More Trade Agreements, For Now

In Panama, the Cortizo administration has announced that it does not plan to sign new trade agreements, as what the country currently needs is to "strengthen its exporters.”

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Representatives of the Ministry of Commerce and Industries informed that until the exportable offer of Panama is strengthened, they will begin to advance in the negotiation of commercial treaties with other countries.

Juan Carlos Sosa, Vice Minister of Foreign Trade, explained to Prensa.com that "... Before moving forward and talking about treaties, we really need to prepare our exporters, have well-certified plants and keep looking for those business opportunities for Panamanian products."

With this decision, the Free Trade Agreement negotiations with China, which reached the fifth round, would be blocked.

See "Panama - China FTA: Fifth Round of Negotiations

In this regard, Sosa said that "... Panama will continue to work on achieving export protocols to the Asian country of new processing plants for beef, pork, chicken and shrimp. Relations with China are excellent and besides export we are promoting technology and logistics projects. The trade issue with China has not stopped, but the issue of the FTA will be seen little by little."

Wei Qiang, China's ambassador to Panama, said in mid-September that the Asian country is still interested in negotiating a high-level free trade agreement.

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More on this topic

New Twist in Panama-China FTA Negotiation

October 2019

Weeks after the Cortizo government decided to interrupt the negotiations of the trade agreement, it announced that in 2020 the issue of the FTA with the Asian giant could begin to be seen again.

The issue has generated expectation, because after having advanced to the fifth round of negotiations during the Varela administration, with the arrival of Laurentino Cortizo in charge, the process of signing the agreement was completely interrupted.

China Still Interested in FTA with Panama

September 2019

After the Cortizo administration announced that Panama will limit itself to signing a partial scope agreement, Chinese authorities reported that they are still interested in negotiating a high-level free trade agreement.

Although five rounds of negotiations had already taken place, in late August representatives of the Ministry of Commerce and Industries (Mici) explained that they seek to limit the scope of the trade agreement with the Asian giant to the exchange of agricultural and industrial goods, which is known as a partial scope Free Trade Agreement (FTA).

The Road to FTA with China Begins

July 2018

With topics such as e-commerce and regulatory framework on the agenda, the first round of negotiations to establish a Free Trade Agreement between Panama and the Asian giant have begun in Panama City.

Authorities stated that during the first negotiations Panama will be represented by some 25 members of the Negotiating Commission of Free Trade Agreements of the Ministry of Commerce and Industries (MICI) and will also be able to count on the participation of more than 40 unions from the productive sector.

Details Fine-Tuned for Panama-China FTA Negotiation

January 2018

As a preliminary stage to negotiations for the signing of a Free Trade Agreement, authorities in both countries have started a feasibility study.

According to the Minister of Commerce and Industries, Augusto Arosemena Moreno, "Panama's primary interest is to boost foreign investment, mainly of added value, making Panama a distribution center for the region and boosting Panamanian exports to the Asian market.

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