Panama’s vice minister for international trade negotiations traveled to Bogota Monday to meet with his Colombian counterpart for talks on strengthen trade ties, and to reopen negotiations on a free trade agreement (FTA), Caracol Radio reported Sunday.
Francisco Alvarez de Soto’s “main task is to strengthen the bilateral trade agenda, and, although it is not the main thing, to get closer to free trade negotiations,” said the spokesperson for the Panamanian Ministry of Commerce and Industry.
The two vice ministers of trade “will discuss the state of negotiations of an FTA between Colombia and Panama because the relationship of the two countries is important for both national governments, and the commercial aspects of it deserve to be treated in a permanent fashion,” said Panama’s Trade Minister Roberto Henriquez.
On October 27, 2010, Panama suspended negotiations for a FTA because Colombia’s progress was “not conducive to the necessary balance of commercial interests of Panama,” according to a statement from the Panamanian Government.
On Tuesday, Panama’s Vice Minister will speak about the country’s trade integration agenda at a business forum titled, “Trade between Colombia and Panama,” sponsored by the Colombia-Panama Chamber of Commerce and the Panamanian embassy in Bogota.
Colombia’s Trade Minister Sergio Diaz-Granados is set to visit Panama in May to further discuss the resumption of negotiations of an FTA between the two countries.