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Panama & China: First Negotiations

Posted on 2018-06-13

Two weeks after the first official round of negotiations and with the objective of aligning criteria, the Panamanian government initiated the process of consultations with the business sector. The Ministry of Commerce and Industry reported that "... The consultation process seeks to align the vision of government institutions and agree on objectives with the private sector to define the points of greatest interest that the Panamanian team will present in the rounds of negotiations. "

From the Ministry of Commerce and Industries:

May 25, 2018. The Government of the Republic of Panama continues the process of consultations with the public and private sectors, prior to the formal launching of the negotiations of the Free Trade Agreement with the People's Republic of China, whose date is scheduled for the next June 12, 2018 in the city of Beijing, with the participation of the Minister of Commerce and Industries, Augusto Arosemena, and his Chinese counterpart, Zhong Shan. Within the framework of this ministerial meeting an organizational round will be held with a view to align criteria for the first round of negotiations to be held in the city of Panama during the month of July. The consultation process seeks to align the vision of the government institutions and agree on objectives with the private sector to define the points of greatest interest that the Panamanian team will present in the negotiations rounds.

The consultations began with the International Trade Negotiations Commission formed by private sector associations: the Panamanian Association of Business Executives (APEDE), Panamanian Association of Exporters (APEX), Chamber of Commerce, Industries and Agriculture of Panama (CCIAP), Association of Users of the Colon Free Zone, Trade Union of Industrialists of Panama (SIP) and the National Union of Agricultural Producers. On the other hand, the public sector is made up of the Ministries of Commerce and Industries, Foreign Affairs, Economy and Finance, Agricultural Development and Health, the Authority for Consumer Protection and Defense of Competition (ACODECO). Other representatives of the private sector and institutions related to the negotiations will also be convened throughout the consultation process.

"We will deepen conversations with all the sectors involved in this important commercial negotiation to know their expectations and collect their contributions. The negotiating team will always safeguard our best interests, "said Minister of Trade and Industry, Augusto Arosemena. In addition, Minister Arosemena pointed out that "the ICIM has a negotiating team with extensive experience in negotiating free trade agreements, in more than 25 multilateral, regional and bilateral negotiations, in which the practice of consulting with the public and private sectors looking for our strengths and always protecting those products and sectors that we consider sensitive ".

For his part, the Chief Negotiator for the FTA with China, Alberto Aleman Arias, stressed that it seeks to work jointly with the public and private sectors to promote and defend the best national interests, noting that "the result of the feasibility study between both governments constitute an important reference of the potential benefits for both countries ". The feasibility study identifies the synergies between both countries and was carried out as a result of the commitment established in the Memorandum of Understanding signed by the Ministries of Commerce of both Governments, on November 17, 2017, within the framework of the official visit of the Lord President Juan Carlos Varela Rodríguez, to the People's Republic of China.

China is the second economy in the world, the second user of the Panama Canal and the main supplier of the Colon Free Zone. In addition, important Chinese companies have their headquarters of multinational companies and distribution centers in our country.


Source: AN Panama

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