Putting in march of the agreement is an element of economic policy that transcends the bilateral relationship.
Increasing agricultural and industrial exports and increased bilateral investment flows, which now exceed 4,000 million dollars, will be the fruits of enforcement, this Wednesday, the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between Mexico and Panama .
The Panamanian Minister of Commerce and Industry, Meliton Arrocha added that the implementation of the agreement «is an element of economic policy that transcends the bilateral relationship because approaches» to the Central American country «Pacific Alliance».
In the immediate future, 24% of Panama’s exports to Mexico fishing industry is at zero tariffs and in five years will be 60% of those products which enjoy such relief.
15% of those fish products, mainly frozen, fall outside the exemption.
«A significant increase mutual investment, which Mexico currently have in Panama by 3,200 million dollars and Panamanians in Mexico for $ 870 million» is expected, said the Panamanian minister.
«These are not insignificant figures,» he stressed, because Panama is for Mexico the nineteenth investor worldwide, the second in Latin America and the Caribbean, and the first in Central America.
On the other hand, Mexico is the eighth user of the Panama Canal by the flow of cargo, while in 2013 re-exports from the Colon Free Zone into Mexico reached $ 277 million and imports from that country to the Panamanian port franc reached 1,000 million dollars, he said.
Arrocha said the 2014 Panama exported to Mexico just over 4 million in agricultural products and a similar amount in industrial products, «so there is a potential to enlarge».
NAFTA, signed by the governments of Panama and Mexico on April 3, 2014, has 21 chapters and includes some 4,000 tariffs.
Fe ratified on 12 March by the Mexican Congress and the October 8, 2014 by the unicameral National Assembly of Panama.
The «complex» negotiations took 16 years, recalled today Arrocha.
Total trade between Mexico and Panama in 2014 was 1,009 million dollars, with a surplus trade balance for Mexico in 968.8 million dollars, according to data from the Ministry of Economy of that country.
Imports of Panamanian products to Mexico were valued at $ 20.3 million.
The president of International Trade in Goods of the Ministry of Economy of Mexico, Cesar Guerra said in Panama City in the Panama Mexico agreement gives immediate relief and short-term (5 years) 72% of its tariff universe to entry into force of the Treaty.
Mexico, meanwhile, Panama gives immediate relief and short-term (5 years) 81% of its tariff to the entry into force of the universe.
Fuente: EFE – Panamá
Ernesto Chong de León, Ernesto Emilio Chong Coronado
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