Panama: The Colombians that Colombia Discriminates Against

Colombian businessmen have pointed out the damage caused to their business dealings with Panama by the respective governments inability to resolve continuing conflicts over the sharing of financial information and tariff policy.

Monday, April 11, 2016

Representatives from the Colombian Chamber of Commerce - Panama stressed the importance of Panama not only as a financial center but as a destination for its exports and investments, and urged government authorities to more quickly resolve the differences on issues of tariff policy and exchange of financial information. Currently the two countries are in the midst of a conflict over the charging of a tariff imposed by Colombia on footwear, textiles and clothing from the Colon Free Zone.

Added to this, is the agreement for sharing financial information which the Colombian and Panamanian government have been negotiating for more than a year. "... According to the president of the Colombian- Panamanian Chamber of Commerce, Eduardo Cristo, for Colombian companies in Panama, taxes are very high in their country of origin, whereas they are are cheaper in Panama , but it's not an issue of money laundering or tax evasion. " explains that "...Recently, the Colombian Finance Minister Mauricio Cardenas, said that on April 13 there will be a new round of negotiations between the two countries to reach an agreement for sharing financial information. In statements made to the newspaper El Espectador, the minister said to Colombian businessmen that it is time to normalize the situation and there is a rule that allows any taxpayer to declare their funds abroad, paying a penalty. He indicated that this issue has caused unrest among entrepreneurs in both countries since the beginning and it is a situation that worries the guild. "

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Agenda of the Presidents of Panama and Colombia

August 2013

Businessmen from both countries are pay attention to the dialogue on tax information, tariffs on re-exportations from the CFZ, the Trade Agreement, and the electrical interconnection. reports: "Today sees the start of a new stage in the Colombian-Panamanian relationship with President Ricardo Martinelli's visit to Colombia, for a meeting with President Juan Manuel Santos".

Colombians Highlight Opportunities in Central America

June 2012

Colombian businessmen indicate that the entire region is a good market for exports and investment, and existing opportunities are not being taken advantage of.

Central America is a region with plenty of benefits for investment, with unlimited access to foreign exchange, protection of trademarks and patents, and this has not been taken advantage of by the Colombian industry, despite an FTA with three countries-Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador, says the president of the Panamanian Colombian Chamber of Commerce, Eduardo Cristo.

FTA Colombia – Panama to Take Longer than Expected

June 2010

At least two or three additional negotiation rounds will be necessary to close the Free Trade Agreement between the countries.

In addition to the core topic of “what, how much and how” to remove tariffs between both countries, there will be tough discussions regarding rules of origin, labeling and customs regulations.

Panama-Colombia, Colombia-Panama

December 2009

"Colombia and Panama are two complementary countries sharing similar business vision and historic identity, which creates synergies between our entrepreneurs".

With this statement, Gina Benedetti de Vélez, Colombian ambassador in Panama, summarizes the current economic relationship between both countries.

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