New Twist in Panama-China FTA Negotiation

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.

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

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.

See "Panama - China FTA: Fifth Round of Negotiations"

New authorities were categorical, since weeks ago, the slogan was that the negotiation of trade agreements with other countries would not be resumed until Panama's exportable supply was strengthened.

Although this position caused uncertainty about the future of the negotiations with China, Ramón Martínez, Minister of Commerce and Industry, has clarified the panorama a little, assuring that "...  For the other year we could start to see again the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with China."

Martínez told Panamaamerica.com.pa that "... First, they are working on what agricultural sector and make the plants comply with the protocols and certifications to be able to export to China. We think that things have to be done step by step and at this time we want to concentrate on strengthening the trade relationship."

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

NO More Trade Agreements, For Now

September 2019

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.”

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.

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).

Panama to Restrict Trade Agreement with China

August 2019

Although there have already been five rounds of negotiations to sign a free trade agreement, the Cortizo administration announced that they decided to restrict themselves to signing a partial-scope agreement.

Representatives of the Ministry of Commerce and Industries (Mici) explained that they want the scope of the trade agreement with the Asian giant to be limited to the exchange of agricultural and industrial goods, which is known as a partial scope Free Trade Agreement (FTA).

FTA with China: Concern Over End of Negotiations

August 2019

Since Cortizo took office, Panamanian exporters have been concerned about the negotiation of the agreement with China, as they believe the delays could affect the results achieved so far.

At the end of April, it was the last time that a round of negotiations between the two countries took place, when issues related to access to markets and attraction of investments, among others, were discussed.

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