The Government of
Mexico, through the Secretariat of Economy, reports that the Senate of the
Republic recently ratified the Free Trade Agreement between Mexico and the
Republic of Panama (TLC, by its initials in Spanish).
In response to the
mandate of the Presidents of Mexico and Panama on 23 May, 2013, the Secretariat
of Economy of the Mexican United States and the Ministry of Commerce and
Industry of the Republic of Panama announced the start of the international
trade negotiations with the purpose to strengthen the bilateral relations,
diversify the exports, encourage the mutual trade and multiply the investments,
increasing the economic growth and the prosperity of both nations.
In November 2014,
Panama issued in its Official Gazette the approval of the Free Trade Agreement
between Mexico-Panama by its National Assembly. In October of the same year,
Mexico provided that Agreement to the Senate of the Republic, which was
shall enter into force after Mexico and Panama have exchanged their
communications of completion of their internal legal procedures. Once this
exchange is completed, the Agreement will be published in the Official Journal
of the Federation (DOF) through a promulgation decree. Also, the Secretariat of
Economy of Mexico will publish in the same information media the Agreement
whereby the tariff preferences agreed between both countries, in the framework
of such instrument, must be internally implement.
Derived from the
negotiation of the Agreement, by the Secretariat of Economy, Mexico will have
immediate and a short-term access (5 years) to 72% of the agreed tariff
universe of goods, in products such as copper and aluminum, steel, automobiles,
auto parts, paints, cosmetics and perfumery, avocado, raspberry, semolina, gum,
tequila, mezcal and orange juice. The rest of the agreed tariff universe will
be liberalized gradually.
takes on special meaning in view of the importance of Panama, one of the most
dynamic economy in the region over the past decade (9.1% of GDP is its average
annual growth); its geopolitical significance as the most important logistical
and commercial center of Latin America; and due to the recent strengthening of
friendship, the understanding and cooperation between both countries following
the celebration, in 2014, of the 110th anniversary of bilateral relations.
Free Trade Agreement will lay the foundation for a major commercial corridor in
the continent and will consolidate the position of both countries as privileged
platforms of production and distribution of goods and services for both the
Americas, as global markets.
In the past 10
years, the trade between Mexico and Panama nearly doubled, adding 1.009 million
dollars in 2014, placing the country as the fourth trading partner of Mexico in
Central America and twelfth in Latin America and the Caribbean. Also, Panama is
the second largest Latin American investor in Mexico, after Brazil, with a
total of 1.035 million dollars between 1999 and 2014.