Panama – Guatemala FTA Goes Into Effect

As of June 22, 2009, 93% of bilateral trade will be tariff-free.

Friday, May 29, 2009

The governments of Panama and Guatemala will put into effect the bilateral protocol between the two countries, the Panama - Central America Free Trade Agreement (FTA), which was signed on February 26, 2008.

According to export data supplied by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry (MICI) in Panama, Guatemala, as a trading partner for Panama, represents an important market for exports of products such as cattle, live oysters, unprinted paper for newspapers, fillets and other fish meat, tuna, fertilized eggs, evaporated milk and hermetically sealed or vacuum packed salmon, among others.

For Minister Porras, the agreement is an important tool for many sectors in the country. In fact, "98.1% of our industrial exports will enter Guatemala tariff-free immediately, whereas 90.7% of our agricultural exports will enter tariff-free in the same manner."

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Three years after being signed, the Colombian Constitutional Court has approved the bilateral agreement that liberalizes 75% of industrial products over terms of 5 to 15 years.

This was the last institutional step needed to for the FTA between Costa Rica and Colombia, as the Central American country had completed all the necessary procedures, leaving only formal communication from Colombia to Costa Rica remaining, so that the agreement will go into force 60 days later.

Increased Trade Between Panama and Guatemala

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During the term of the trade agreement signed four years ago, imports and exports between the two countries has grown by 13%.

According to Maria Luisa Flores, Guatemalan Vice Minister of Economy (Commerce), the country's exports to Panama have had an annual growth of 10.3%, while imports showed an increase of 14%.

Guatemala Announces Start of Free Trade Agreement with Panama

June 2009

Effective beginning today, the free trade agreement will allow 93% of commercial goods to be traded without paying custom tariffs.

According to the Guatemalan Central Bank, exports to Panama exceeded $161.1 million and imported goods added up to $128.7 million. published: “The full application of the commercial agreement will allow the penetration of a wide range of Guatemalan products that include medicine, detergents, soaps, cereals, perfumes, cosmetics, greases and oils, among others, into the Panamanian market without tariffs and duties.”

Panama approves FTA with Guatemala

November 2008

The FTA has already been approved in Panama and is now awaiting debate and ratification in Guatemala.

"When this treaty comes into effect, it will include annexed goods, rules of origin, services and investment, and 94% of our current exports are included in the agreement for immediate access, that is, practically all of our exports to Guatemala, which converts it into a vital support for the national industry," the Minister of Trade and Industry, Gisela Porras, emphasized.

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