In its most recent report on Panama, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) highlights the growth of the economy in the last decade as the highest in Latin America and expected to continue to have one of the highest rates in the region in the medium term, with low inflation, a stable financial system and a trade deficit decreasing.
The report, published as a result of a mission to Panama that was part of regular reviews that the international body member countries ago, an increase of about 6% for 2016 and medium-term projects.
IMF projections for this year are similar to those of the Government of Panama (6%), the World Bank (6%) and the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (6.2%).
Completed the first quarter, growth was 5.7%, according to unofficial data from the Ministry of Economy and Finance.
According to the IMF, in the medium term the economy will be driven by the start of operations of the Panama Canal expansion and low fuel prices, which offset the slowdown in the global economy and the appreciation of the dollar, which makes them less competitive exports and as a tourist destination.
Increasing transits the Panama Canal a dynamic service sector and investments in energy, mining and logistics help to maintain a “vibrant” growth.
The report accounts for the scandal over leaked documents from the law firm Mossack Fonseca and the charge of money laundering made in May, the Office of Foreign Assets Control of the United States to Waked group and Abdul entrepreneurs and Nidal Waked . IMF urges greater efforts to enhance financial transparency, strengthen the fiscal framework and promote inclusive growth.
Directors recalled that Panama emerged from the gray list of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), which identified him as a country with weaknesses in preventing money laundering.
However, they stressed the importance of strengthening the prevention framework in line with international standards and ensure their effective implementation, especially after the recent revelations.
Strengthening the integrity and financial transparency will put Panama in a better position to face the FATF review of 2017, in which the effective implementation of the new legal framework will be evaluated.
The IMF applauded the commitment of the authorities to the automatic exchange of information and calls for such agreements signed with more countries.
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