Colombia has signed a free trade agreement with neighboring country Panama, the Trade Ministry announced on Tuesday.
Trade Minister Sergio Díaz-Granados Guida said that Colombia sealed the deal in the early hours of Saturday morning after a long negotiating process, which began in 2010 and involved seven rounds of talks with Panama.
The agreement is expected to have a positive impact on Colombia’s economy, as Panama’s market represents a number of exportation opportunities in industrial and agricultural goods. The Central American nation’s economy experienced a 10% growth rate in 2012 and is GDP is 50% higher than Colombia’s.
“Colombia continues to intensify its presence in international markets through commercial agreements that will provide us with better opportunities for growth and generation of employment. […] The FTA with Panama is a natural step in the consolidation of our commercial relationships with Central American and completes the integration strategy in the region, together with FTAs with Costa Rica and the Northern Triangle,” announced the Diaz-Granados.
Some 72% of goods imports into Panama from Colombia will immediately be permitted to enter the country free of charge.
- TLC con Panamá, más oportunidades de comercio con reglas claras (Ministerio de Comercio, Industria y Turismo)