Israel concluded negotiations with Panama on a free trade agreement: an Israeli delegation headed by the Foreign Trade Administration of the Israeli Ministry of Economy, including seven representatives of relevant government ministries held the fourth round of talks in Panama City between 16 and 19 November 2015 and succeeded in reducing the remaining gaps between parts and complete ladosas talks.
Panama has free trade agreements with several countries, including the US, EU, Canada, countries AFTA, Singapore, Taiwan, Peru, Colombia, Chile and Mexico. The free trade agreement with Panama will put Israel in a similar position with respect to commercial benefits.
The agreement, which will include a clause in the services sector, which represents another springboard for Israeli companies in the service sector (a field comprising 30% of all Israeli exports). Israeli companies now eligible for this sector in Panama – with an emphasis on software, communications, information security, engineering and research and development – and so enjoy the potential of these and other markets. The negotiations were conducted under the Israeli Ministry of Political Economy expansion of exports from Israel to new markets and the policy established in May 2013 to tighten relations with Latin American countries.
These talks were successfully concluded, Panama will join the list of countries with which Israel has signed trade agreements: the EU – since 1975, the United States – 1985, AFTA (Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Iceland) – 1992 Canada – 1997 Turkey – 1997 Mexico – 1999, MERCOSUR (Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay) – 2007, Colombia – (signed in 2013 but not yet ratified by the government of Colombia).
According to the Administration of Foreign Trade, Ministry of Economy of Israel, Panama’s economy is primarily based on a highly developed service sector, which represents more than three-quarters of GDP, and includes the management of the Panama Canal , logistics, banking, the Colon Free Zone, insurance, port operations, recording shipping and tourism. The rate of economic growth in Panama reached 8.4% in 2013 and 6.2% in 2014, significantly higher than the average of the Caribbean islands and Latin America (1.7% in 2014, according to World Bank ). Panama’s growth is attributed among other things to the Panama Canal expansion project, which began in 2007 at a cost of $ 5.3 billion. Infrastructure development projects also expected to take place can also draw Israeli companies with relevant experience.
Modest exports come to only $ 25 million, but can grow in light of the agreement in the light of the role of Panama as a bridge to other countries in the region.
Ernesto Chong de León, Ernesto Emilio Chong Coronado
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