FTA between Mexico and Panama to start

The Mexican Ambassador in Panama, Jose Piña Rojas, stated that the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) signed last year between Mexico and Panama would come into force at any moment, and that it would help them reach the goal of boosting trade.

"Without a doubt, the FTA will contribute to a greater rapprochement of goods and services. We hope this will lead to a greater commercial exchange," said Piña Rojas.

The trade agreement, which will open 72 per cent of the bilateral tariff universe to free trade, has already been ratified by the parliaments of both countries; in the case of the Mexican Senate on March 12.

For the FTA to come into force, the Mexican approval has to be published in the official journal of the Federation, in order to proceed to the exchange of diplomatic notes, so that, 30 days later, the agreement would go into effect.

"It's imminent," insisted the Mexican Ambassador, the FTA will increase our business relationship, which has doubled in the past 10 years, with an Exchange in goods of around one billion dollars.

"Trade is important for both countries. There is a huge potential that will not only generate more trade, but that's going to generate a greater economic presence and investment from Mexico in Panama and, why not, from Panama in Mexico," he said.

Mexico may export copper and aluminium cables, steel, automobiles, automotive parts, paints, cosmetics and Perfumery, avocado, raspberries, semolina wheat, chewing gum, tequila, mezcal and orange juice duty free to Panama.

In their business relationship, Mexico has had a deep historical surplus.

In 2014, Mexican exports to Panama totalled $989 million dollars and imports from the Central American country only amounted to $20.2 million dollars.

The Mexican Ambassador said that to encourage more trade to Mexico, both countries had agreed to schedule various activities, including seminars, workshops and business visits, to publicize the advantages of commercial trade.

With this FTA, Panama can now aspire to join the Pacific Alliance, the trade bloc formed by Mexico, Peru, Colombia and Chile.

According to data from the Ministry of Economy, Mexico is the fourth country in Latin America to invest the most in Latin America and it is the fourth biggest partner in Central America.

In Panama, Mexican investments amount to more than two billion dollars, with the presence of about thirty of the most important Mexican companies.

Source: Notimex Mexico

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