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Panama and China and Free Trade Agreement (FTA) Negotiations; Increasing Commercial / Cultural / Educational Activity Between the Two Countries

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This topic was split out from the following existing topic because it appears that it will be a fairly significant topic.

 

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Panama-China FTA talks begin in July

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Panama's negotiating team
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The first round of negotiations for the signing of a  Free Trade  Agreement Free Trade (FTA) between Panama and China will be in the month of July and will take place in Panama City.

The announcement came Friday, May 25 from Panama’s  Minister of Commerce Augusto Arosemena who will head the country’s negotiating team.

“The message that the first round is in Panama is very important for the Panamanian private sector,” said Arosemena.

Panama and China will officially launch negotiations for the signing of the FTA on June 12 at a ceremony in the city of Beijing.  Arosemena and his Chinese counterpart Zhong Shan will attend

 

http://www.newsroompanama.com/business/panama-4/panama-china-fta-talks-begin-in-july

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Panama and China will launch negotiations for FTA on June 12

Sat, 05/26/2018 - 18:31

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Panama and China will formally launch talks on signing a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) on June 12 in Beijing, but the first round will be held in July in the Central American country, according to official sources.

"The first round of negotiations will be in Panama during the month of July, and the message sent to the Panamanian private sector that this first round is held in Panama is very important," the Minister of Commerce and Industries, Augusto Arosemena, told reporters on Friday.

Arosemena said that they cannot confirm how long the negotiations will last, but stated that "there is no rush" and that "it will delay the time necessary to delay to defend the interests of Panama".

"The negotiations will continue to protect sensitive products for Panama and the liberal professions (...) Obviously the intention is to do it quickly to continue consolidating the commercial relationship with China, but the important thing is to achieve a win-win treaty for both countries," he said.

The minister met Friday with the most important business associations in the country, such as the Panamanian Association of Business Executives (APEDE), the Chamber of Commerce, Industries and Agriculture of Panama (CIAP) and the Panamanian Association of Exporters (APEX), among others.

"We are maintaining dialogue and open conversation with the private sector to find the best strategy and the best position for Panama," Arosemena said, along with Alberto Alemán Arias, appointed yesterday by the government as Panama's chief negotiator for the FTA.

In June 2017, Panama decided to break diplomatic relations with Taiwan and recognize the "one China" principle, thus becoming the second Central American country, after Costa Rica, to establish diplomatic relations with China.

Panama and China already had an important trade exchange before establishing diplomatic relations, but it is expected a remarkable growth after the FTA.

In 2016, Panama sold 50.9 million dollars worth in copper, crustacean, wood and coffee waste to China, among others, while the Asian giant sold goods and services to the Central American country for 1.18 billion dollars, according to official figures.

The Asian country is the first supplier of the Colon Free Zone, the largest free zone in the hemisphere, located in the Panamanian Caribbean, and the second most important user of the Panama Canal, through which about 6 percent of trade world passes, after the USA.

 

http://www.panamatoday.com/economy/panama-and-china-will-launch-negotiations-fta-june-12-6932

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Panama appoints chief negotiator for Free Trade Agreement with China

Fri, 05/25/2018 - 12:53

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Panamanian President Juan Carlos Varela today appointed Alberto Alemán Arias as Panama's chief negotiator for talks about the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with China, a country with which he established relations in June last year, according to an official source.

Alemán will coordinate the actions and strategies that the country will present in these trade negotiations, at the governmental level, with all public entities and the private sector, and will direct the negotiating team appointed to carry out this process, said the State Communication Secretary.

Alberto Alemán held the position of director of the Agency for the Promotion of Investments and Exports (Proinvex) of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry of Panama (Mici).

Alemán headed on behalf of the National Government the creation, development and implementation of the Global Center of Excellence (CGdE) of supply chains, the first of its kind in the Americas.

Previously, he was Manager of Business Development at London & Regional Panamá, S.A .; master developer of the Panama Pacífico Special Economic Area; and Chief of Staff and Political Advisor on Economic and Financial Affairs at the Permanent Mission of Panama to the United Nations in New York, United States

The appointment of Alemán complements the team made up of professionals with broad experience in Mici business negotiations, who represented Panama in the preparation of the feasibility study prior to the negotiations and which are currently in the preparatory phase for the launch of the process, highlighted the National Government.

The head of Mici, Augusto Arosemena, said that Panama's "primary" interest in signing an FTA with China is to boost foreign investment, mainly of added value "to become a distribution center for Chinese industries in the region and enhance Panamanian exports to the Asian market," according to official information.

Last March, Arosemena said that his country is in no hurry to sign an FTA with China and that the negotiations of this agreement, which will begin in June, "will delay the time they require".

"My position has always been that the negotiations will delay the time they require in order for Panama to get the most beneficial treaty for the country. If it can be done in two rounds, it is done in two rounds. If it takes ten, it can be done so too," said Arosemena.

Last June, Panama decided to break diplomatic relations with Taiwan and recognize the "one China" principle, thus becoming the second Central American country, after Costa Rica, to establish diplomatic relations with China.

Panama and China already had trade exchanges before establishing diplomatic relations, but a remarkable growth is expected when both countries agree on an FTA.

In 2016, Panama sold China 50.9 million dollars worth of copper, crustacean, wood and coffee waste, among others, while the Asian giant sold goods and services to the Central American country for 1,183 million dollars, according to official figures.

China is also the second most important user of the Panama Canal and the first supplier of the Colon Free Zone, the largest free zone in the hemisphere, located in the Panamanian Caribbean.

 

http://www.panamatoday.com/economy/panama-appoints-chief-negotiator-free-trade-agreement-china-6923

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FTA Panama - China: First Negotiations

Two weeks after the first official round of negotiations and with the aim of aligning criteria, the Panamanian government has started a process of consultations with the business sector.

Monday, May 28, 2018

The Ministry of Commerce and Industry reported that " ...The consultation process seeks to align the vision of the government institutions and agree on objectives with the private sector to define the points of greatest interest that the Panamanian team will present in the negotiation rounds."

From the Ministry of Commerce and Industries:

May 15, 2018. The Government of the Republic of Panama continues the process of consultations with the public and private sectors, prior to the launch of negotiations for a Free Trade Agreement with the People's Republic of China, whose date is scheduled for June 12, 2018 in the city of Beijing, with the participation of the Minister of Commerce and Industries, Augusto Arosemena, and his Chinese counterpart, Zhong Shan. Within the framework of this ministerial meeting an organizational round will be held with a view to align criteria for the first round of negotiations to be held in the city of Panama during the month of July.   

The consultation process seeks to align the vision of the government institutions and agree on objectives with the private sector to define the points of greatest interest that the Panamanian team will present in the negotiation rounds.  

Read full release (in Spanish).

 

https://www.centralamericadata.com/en/article/main/FTA_Panama__China_First_Negotiations

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Gabriel Barletta: "There will be no economic boom like the 2009 to 2014"

Thu, 06/14/2018 - 10:26

"An FTA with China benefits us as long as we manage to negotiate a win-win treaty for both parties," said the President of the Chamber of Commerce, Industries and Agriculture of Panama, Gabriel Barletta, who in an interview with Panama Today added that within the negotiating commission, which will start operations in July, there are two members of his guild that have extensive experience in this kind of negotiations; "they have been presented with Free Trade Agreements of Costa Rica, Peru and Colombia to learn a little bit of what is good, bad and ugly that they have done and try to have a better agreement with China".

Concerning the economy slowdown, the businessman highlighted that the guild he presides had projections during the first 6 months of the year that pointed to an increase by 5.4%; however, in July and August they will present new projections, since what they call interior economy "that has to with the sale of automobiles, department stores, with all trade in general, and construction has been experiencing slowdown in recent years and obviously it is a major job generator an it is precisely hitting the Panamanian people".

For Barletta, who has 15 years of experience in business management, advertising and communications, the economic boom that the country had from 2009 to 2014 will not return for a long time. "We were growing around, over 10% for some years. For Panama, such a small country, it is unsustainable to continue growing for a long time at that rate." In that regard, he highlighted that "the economic policies of this government were quite clear from the beginning and have not changed in 4 years, then it is not about whether it was positive or negative but the rules were clear from the beginning and for we as businesspeople it is important".

The Chamber of Commerce, Industries and Agriculture, believes that tourism is one of the most important pillars to the economy of the country, "Panama is still a hub, it is still a hub for Latin America, for the whole Continent and we have the advantage of having the Hub of the Americas, with which we have direct flights to most of the most important cities in Latin America to generate a great meeting with Panama,” said Barletta.

 

http://www.panamatoday.com/economy/gabriel-barletta-there-will-be-no-economic-boom-2009-2014-7064

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Panama hosts first China import fair

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AS  THE UNITED  STATES moves to slap $50 billion in tariffs on Chinese imports and China moves to impose retaliatory measures Panama is opening its doors to Free Trade Deal and more with the second biggest user of the Canal.

On Thursday, June 14 over 70 Chinese companies in particular from the industrialized province of Zhejiang participated in the opening of a three-day importers fair, the first. between the two countries, with the aim of making Panama the regional hub for trade.

The China 2018-Zhejiang Expo brings together entrepreneurs related to the sectors of construction materials, tools, auto parts, electrical equipment and materials, ornaments, decoration, jewelry, appliances, textiles and industrial products, among others.

The objective of the fair is to evaluate business opportunities between both countries in the framework of the first year of establishing diplomatic relations between Panama and China, said Gabriel Barletta, president of the Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture of Panama (CCIAP).

“We want to give the opportunity to our businessmen who can have business negotiations under one roof with more than 70 companies from China,” said Barletta.

Wu Guiying, president of the Council of China for the promotion of International Trade indicated that her country seeks to establish business with other countries and Panama would be the business center of for other markets in the region.

The fair aimed exclusively at importers will be open until Saturday, June 16 at the Vasco Núñez de Balboa Convention Center of the El Panama Hotel.

 

http://www.newsroompanama.com/business/panama-4/panama-hosts-first-china-import-fair

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The Road to FTA with China Begins

With topics such as e-commerce and regulatory framework on the agenda, the first round of negotiations to establish a Free Trade Agreement between Panama and the Asian giant have begun in Panama City.

Monday, July 9, 2018

Authorities stated that during the first negotiations Panama will be represented by some 25 members of the Negotiating Commission of Free Trade Agreements of the Ministry of Commerce and Industries (MICI) and will also be able to count on the participation of more than 40 unions from the productive sector.

Augusto Arosemena, head of the MICI, explained to Laestrella.com.pa that " ... the first round of negotiations is yet to be publicized, but the results of the negotiations and the agreed issues will be reported as the talks progress". Regarding the upcoming negotiation meetings, he added that they " ... will be held approximately every six weeks at least during the first the meetings, and will be alternated between Panama City and Beijing, the capital of China."

See also: "What the New Panama - China Relationship May Bring"

Regarding the participation of the business sector, the president of the Panamanian Association of Business Executives (Apede), Héctor Cotes, said that " ... they will contribute as a guild in this process, having a representative within the committee, who will dedicate as much time as is necessary for the agreement to be of benefit to both countries, a 'win-win', both for China and for Panama."

Regarding what corresponds to the interests of the Asian country, the Chinese ambassador to Panama, Wei Chang, said that " ...China is interested in Panama's infrastructure sectors, ports, social housing, roads, considering that the Panamanian isthmus is a gateway to expanding its exports in Central America, because of its connectivity and its logistic and financial hub."

See history of the process.

 

https://www.centralamericadata.com/en/article/main/The_Road_to_FTA_with_China_Begins

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Panama will host the China-Latin America and Caribbean Business Summit in 2019

Thu, 07/12/2018 - 18:03

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The Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture of Panama (CCIAP) said today it hopes that the Central American country will host the CHINA-Latin America and Caribbean Business Summit in 2019. This year, the summit will be held in the Asian country.

The president of the CCIAP, Gabriel Barletta, said in a press conference to promote the edition of this 2018 business event that the Business Summit "China-LAC is a promotion mechanism and a platform that seeks greater economic cooperation, focused on boosting trade and investment". 

He recalled that in 2017 the CCIAP participated in the summit that took place in Uruguay and that he expects the event to take place in Panama in 2019.

The 12th China-LAC Business Summit 2018 will take place on November 1 and 2 in Zhuhai, Guangdong Province. Since its creation in 2007 it has been held annually with an edition in China and another in a country in Latin America and the Caribbean.

The CCIAP stressed that the business summit includes state leaders, senior officials, academics, representatives of international organizations and financial institutions, as well as businesspeople from different sectors.

The meeting addresses topics such as trends in international economic and trade development, trade and investment policies of China and Latin America and the Caribbean, business opportunities and cooperation for mutual benefit.

The China-LAC Summit is an event organized by CCPIT and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).

This Thursday, in the framework of the presentation of this year's summit, the CCIAP and the Chinese Council for the Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT) of Zhuhai signed a memorandum of understanding "in order to establish cooperation agreements for the benefit of both guilds".

The document was signed by the executive director of the CCIAP, Rafael Zúñiga Brid, and the deputy director of the CCPIT's Zhuhai Subcommittee, Tian Jianlin, according to official information.

Panama and China established diplomatic ties in June 2017, to the detriment of Taiwan, which has given great impetus to the already fluid bilateral relations.

China is the first supplier of the Colon Free Zone (CFZ), the largest in the hemisphere and located in the Caribbean of Panama, and the second user of the Interoceanic Canal, through which about 6 percent of world trade passes.

 

http://www.panamatoday.com/economy/panama-will-host-china-latin-america-and-caribbean-business-summit-2019-7308

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18 Panama students get China scholarships

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PANAMA’S ties with China have expanded rapidly since the two countries established diplomatic relations after Panama broke ties with Taiwan which had curried favor with the Martinelli administration with a “gift” of a $22 million presidential jet.

On Friday a Panamanian negotiating team, including businessmen headed to China to develop the pending free trade agreement.

The day before  18 young people from different provinces received scholarships to study in graduate and postgraduate courses in  Chinese universities starting at the end of August.  Wei Qiang, the Chinese ambassador to Panama distributed the scholarships.

The Director .of Foreign Policy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Nicole Wong, said that six Chinese students who were granted scholarships by the Student Mobility Program Panama Coopera are in Panama.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/news/panama/18-panama-students-get-china-scholarships

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Panama-China FTA talks move to Beijing

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THE SECOND round of negotiations for the Panama-China  Free Trade Agreement (FTA)  begin Monday, August 20, in Beijing, and will continue through August 24.

Panama ’s chief negotiator Alberto Alemán Arias said that during the session both delegations will end up agreeing terminology,  concepts, and definitions that will apply throughout the business agreement and will begin the presentation and analysis of their respective positions of tariff lines services and products.

“In this round, we hope to clear any doubts in both teams about terminology, definitions, and scope of the commercial agreement, “he said.

flags-China-300x192.jpgA total of 27 representatives of business and productive associations confirmed their participation in the “Fourth Deputy Consultation”. Alemán Arias valued as “very positive” that a group of businessmen and producers will be present. “For us, it has been very important to maintain an open and agile communication with the private  sector so  we will achieve a good agreement for Panama,” he said

The FTA negotiations were launched in Beijing on June 12  at the end of one year of diplomatic relations between the two countries.

Panama exports goods to China for a value that barely exceeds $40 million. while China sends over $1 billion of products to Panama.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/news/panama/panama-china-fta-talks-continue-in-beijing

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FTA Panama - China: Second Round of Negotiations

From August 20 to 24, delegations will finish agreeing terminology, concepts and definitions that will apply throughout the commercial agreement, and will begin presenting their respective positions on tariff lines for services and products.

Monday, August 20, 2018

From a statement issued by the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MITI):

MICI August 19, 2018. Tomorrow the negotiating teams for the Trade Agreement between Panama and China will start the Second Round of Negotiations, which will take place between August 20 and 24, on Monday in Beijing, China.

According to Panama's Chief Negotiator, Alberto Alemán Arias, during this Second Round both delegations will finalise agreements on terminology, concepts and definitions that will apply throughout the commercial agreement; Likewise, they will begin the presentation and analysis of their respective positions on tariff lines for services and products with a view to establishing initial positions. "In this round we hope to clear up any doubts in both teams about terminology, definitions and scope of the commercial agreement," he explained.

Read full statement (in Spanish).

 

https://www.centralamericadata.com/en/article/main/FTA_Panama__China_Second_Round_of_Negotiations

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Anyone else hear the steps of Chinese coming into Central America?

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China - Panama FTA Negotiations Move Forward

In the second round, progress was made in sanitary and phytosanitary measures, commercial defense, rules of origin and access to markets. 

Thursday, August 30, 201

It was agreed that the Third Round of Negotiations will be held in Panama City from October 9 to 13. 

From a statement issued by the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MITI):

MICI 8/28/2018. The teams from Panama and the People's Republic of China concluded the Second Round of Negotiations for a Trade Agreement between both nations with preliminary agreements and progress made in different chapters.

During the week of negotiations, held in the city of Beijing between August 20 and 24, the Chief Negotiator for Panama, Alberto Alemán Arias, gave a daily report to representatives of the Panamanian private sector who were present at the Adjoining Meeting Room, authorized by Panama in order to encourage the participation of businessmen, producers and union leaders.

The meeting was attended by representatives of unions such as the National Association of Cattle Ranchers (ANAGAN); the Chamber of Commerce, Industries and Agriculture of Panama (CCYAP); the National Association of Milk Processors (ANAPROLE); the National Union of Customs Brokers of Panama (UNCAP); the Trade Union of Industrialists of Panama (SIP); the National Association of Insurance Producers (CONALPROSE); the Panamanian Association of Exporters (APEX); and the Association of Milk Producers of the Central Provinces (APLEC).

Read full statement (in spanish).

https://www.centralamericadata.com/en/article/main/China__Panama_FTA_Negotiations_Move_Forward

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Panamanian businessmen willing to negotiate FTA with China until agreement is reached

Sun, 09/02/2018 - 22:13

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The Panamanian businessmen affirmed today that they would wait "as long as necessary" for Panama to sign a free trade agreement (FTA) with China that guarantees the interests of the Central American country.

"While a trade agreement with China is very important, it is even more fair and just for Panama," the Chamber of Commerce, Industries and Agriculture of Panama (CCIAP) said in a statement.

The president of the Chamber, Gabriel Barletta, said that "under this scheme, the interest of the union in that these negotiations are developed with great care obeys both to the experience lived by other countries in relation to this matter, as well as the need to visualize the tools that are necessary to be able to get the most out of this agreement with the Asian giant."

"We have listened to our membership, we are representing their different positions and taking advantage of the opportunities that arise from this relationship between both countries," he said.

The business leader pointed out that the Chamber's team works "closely" with the government that commands the Ministry of Commerce and Industries (MICI).

"This joint work seeks to carry out a thorough negotiation, in which the best interests of the sectors that may be impacted are defended, so we are being very cautious and we do not seek to rush the process, we are aware of the current environment and will negotiate as long as necessary," he said.

He specified that both teams believe there is consensus that Panama "is in a good position to continue advancing in the next round,
scheduled for October, always in consultation and interaction with the productive sectors of the country."

On August 28, Panama and China concluded the second round of negotiations for signing an FTA and have already agreed, among other issues, that the Central American country can withdraw any Chinese product that does not meet its sanitary standards, according to MICI.

It explained that the delegations meeting in Beijing between August 20 and 24 approved that "Panama retains its sovereignty in the matter, with the power to review and withdraw any import that does not comply with the provisions of the country's sanitary legal framework."

The parties, however, have not yet reached an agreement on the so-called "trade defense measures", whose main objective is to protect the Panamanian market against low-cost imports, nor about which specific products will have access to the markets of each country, the ministry said in a statement.

The governments of both countries officially launched negotiations on June 12 at a ceremony in Beijing, coinciding with the first anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations, and the third round will be held in Panama from October 9 to 13, the institution indicated.

Panama decided in June 2017 to break diplomatic relations with Taiwan and recognize the "one China" principle, thus becoming the second Central American country, after Costa Rica, to establish diplomatic relations with Beijing.

Last year, Panama imported goods and services from China worth 1,344 million dollars and exported products worth 42.6 million dollars, including coffee, cattle skins and fishmeal.

The Asian country is the first supplier of the Colón Free Zone (ZLC), the largest free zone in the hemisphere, located in the Panamanian Caribbean, and the second user of the Panama Canal, through which about 6 percent of world trade passes, after the USA.

 

https://www.panamatoday.com/economy/panamanian-businessmen-willing-negotiate-fta-china-until-agreement-reached-7742

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Colon’s $1.8 billion Chinese projects

Posted on September 18, 2018 in Panama

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Shanghai Gorgeous, a private Chinese group is investing at least  $1,8 billion dollars to develop two major projects in Colon province.

The first and most advanced with an investment of $900 million is the Colón Container Port, located on Margarita island which will add 12 cranes and capacity to handle 2.5 million of TEU or 20-foot containers.

The group’s second megaproject is the Martano power generation plant, an initiative for the production of energy with liquefied natural gas, with the capacity to deliver  441 megawatts and that would be operational by 2020, with an estimated investment of $900 million.

This work includes a terminal to be supplied with natural gas from a floating tank.

The Shanghai Gorgeous group received the license with a series of tax benefits last year.

At that time, the permanent representative of the ChinaPanameño Business Development Office, Wang Weihua, acknowledged that the offer of Panama as a platform for the distribution of Chinese products in Latin America is a possibility with growth potential for the Chinese private sector.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/news/panama/colons-1-8-billion-chinese-projects

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Chinese Construction Companies Target Central America

Large construction companies in the Asian country are interested in the mega projects that are to be developed in the region, especially in Panama and Costa Rica.

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

At the last Capac Expo Hábitat fair in Panama, more than 20 companies from China showcased their progress and took the opportunity to establish contacts with local public and private investors.

The large companies, some of which already have contracts in the canal country, carry out works such as bridges, railroads, airports, hydroelectric power plants, agroproductive developments, and provide technology services, among other things. 

See "Bridge over the Canal: Chinese contract confirmed"

Fang Qiuche, president of the Association of International Contractors of China (Chinca), explained to Martesfinanciero.com that " ... 'Panama is an important and strategic country and serves as a bridge for the entire continent. We have high expectations that Chinese construction, infrastructure and market research companies can come to the country to develop new businesses and foster joint cooperation.'"

In relation to the interest that Asian companies have in future works, Clark Xia, senior general manager of Engineering of China Railway Group Limited (CREC), said that " ... they are very interested in the railway construction project that will link David, in Chiriquí, with Panama, and they hope to participate [in it] once the viability of the work has been defined after the studies that are being carried out."We want to participate in this project that will bring many economic development opportunities for Panama and the region, and we want to participate with all the capacity and technological knowledge to improve the quality of life for Panamanians.

See also "Construction: Construction: Upcoming Works in Central America"

Xia added that they are also interested in projects such as water sanitation, road construction and future works on the Metro. 

In addition to the works in Panama, Asian companies are in charge of other projects in Costa Rica. One example is the construction firm China Harbor Engineering Company, which is responsible for extending 107 kilometers of the road between the crossing to Rio Frio and downtown Limón.

 

https://www.centralamericadata.com/en/article/main/Chinese_Construction_Companies_Target_Central_America

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Panama-China FTA: Third Negotiating Round

The third round of negotiations between the two delegations concluded on October 13th, in which subjects such as Intellectual Property, Cooperation and Rules of Origin were discussed.

Monday, October 15, 2018

From the press release of the Ministry of Trade and Industries:

Panama City, October 13th, 2018. The negotiating teams from Panama and the People' s Republic of China concluded today the Third Round of Negotiations for a Trade Agreement with advances in chapters such as Intellectual Property, Cooperation and Rules of Origin.

Néstor González, Vice-Minister of Foreign Trade, expressed his gratitude for the large number of business leaders, producers and professionals who attended the Cuarto Adjunto, specially designed to promote the participation and interaction of the private sector with the negotiating team. Gonzalez explained that each day, after concluding the conversations, the chief negotiator Alberto Alemán Arias made a complete presentation on what was discussed that day.

On the other hand, Alemán Arias reported the conclusion of the negotiations in relation to the Intellectual Property Chapter, initially proposed by Panama. This chapter ensures that the parties adequately and effectively protect intellectual property rights under the trade agreement.

Read full release (In Spanish).

 

https://www.centralamericadata.com/en/article/main/PanamaChina_FTA_Third_Negotiating_Round

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A friend and I were discussing the other day that, during the next few years, we will no doubt see a massive shift in the supply of agricultural and heavy equipment to Chinese brands from traditionals like John Deere,  Massey-Ferguson, Caterpillar and Mack which were already under threat from Japanese and Korean suppliers like Hitachi and Hyundai.

Hopefully the Chinese do not flood the market with small, substandard, passenger vehicles.

Edited by Keith Woolford

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Request to Exclude Maritime Sector from FTA with China

Arguing that local investments could be at risk, the Maritime Chamber requested the exclusion of the maritime sector from the trade agreement that Panama negotiates with the Asiatic giant.

Thursday, October 18, 2018

In a note addressed to the Chief Negotiator of Panama, the trade guild of the sector requested not to include the maritime sector, and especially the auxiliary maritime industry, in the negotiations of the FTA between Panama and China.

See "The Road to FTA with China Begins"

The note sent by the Panama Maritime Chamber (CMP), explains that "... The majority of companies that are grouped in the CMP are concerned about the impact that may have a greater presence and competition in the service provided by this trading partner in Panama, under the disciplines of a trade agreement."

The document details that "... Due to the limitations of the Chinese legal regime to establish trade operations and the contrast in the size of both economies, the Chinese market represents an asymmetric scheme and a disadvantage for local service providers."

Also see "China - Panama FTA Negotiations Move Forward"

Elcapitalfinanciero reviews that "... The CMP emphasizes the importance of analyzing the impact of trade agreements in some industries, especially against nations with a legal and commercial structure such as China, because it can jeopardize their development and current jobs generated, so it is necessary to give adequate protection to local industries in this negotiation process."

 

https://www.centralamericadata.com/en/article/main/Request_to_Exclude_Maritime_Sector_from_FTA_with_China

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Chinese Inspecting Food Plants

To verify whether they comply with the rules for exporting meat, seafood, dairy products and fruits to the Asian country, representatives of the Chinese government will conduct an inspection of several production plants in Panama.

Monday, October 22, 2018

As part of the Free Trade Agreement between China and the Central American country, it was reported that from October 22nd to 31st a Chinese government delegation will inspect food processing plants in Panama.

See "Beef: Increasing Business with the US"

On the matter, Eduardo Carles, Minister of Agricultural Development of Panama, said to Prensa.com that "... Last August, during the second round of FTA negotiations, 'we gave the authorities of the Asian country the necessary documents for the analysis of Panamanian export products such as codfish, beef and pineapple."

Carles added that "... These visits will result in the certification of the plants that Panama has for exportation. Then we will work on the approval of criteria for signing protocols on meat products. Meat products and pineapple are the first products at the request of the General Directorate of Customs of China. After the visit, a work schedule will be established to develop the questionnaires and comply with the protocols of the other categories, such as seafood products."

You may be interested in "Central America Consumes More Pork Meat"

Regarding the progress of signing the trade agreement, Panamanian authorities reported that on October 13th the third round of negotiations between the two delegations concluded, addressing issues of Intellectual Property, Cooperation and Rules of Origin.

 

https://www.centralamericadata.com/en/article/main/Chinese_Inspecting_Food_Plants

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Chinese phytosanitary experts visit pineapple export plants in Panama

Sat, 11/03/2018 - 20:17

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Chinese phytosanitary experts visited pineapple export plants in the western province of Chiriquí, on the border of Panama with Costa Rica, to visit production areas of this tropical fruit and meet with agro-exporters of this item, reported an official source.

The farms visited were Dolce Pineapple, in Veladero de Gualaca; First Forty Group Inc. in the community of Chorcha; and Tropical Fruit, located in El Higo de Cochea, district of David, capital of Chiriquí, said the Ministry of Agricultural Development (MIDA).

Darío Gordón, head of Plant Health of the MIDA, explained that the group of phytosanitary experts of Customs, from China reviewed the respective documentation and carried out an "inspection in origin" in the crops and in the pineapple packers.

Gordon, who accompanied the delegation, stressed that the pineapple is a Panamanian agricultural product "that is projected with good export possibilities" to China.

The delegation was received by the Mida authorities on Monday, October 29 in the Panamanian capital, and then moved to pineapple areas of the province of West Panama.

The tour culminated on Thursday with a technical meeting at the regional offices of MIDA in Chiriquí, to assess the work of phytosanitation and safety performed by the plant health personnel of the Mida in the pineapple export plantations.

The visit took place within the framework of relations between Panama and China, which established commercial ties, specifically in agriculture, the entity said.

Panama recognized the "one China" policy and entered into diplomatic ties with Beijing in June 2017, to the detriment of Taiwan.

 

https://www.panamatoday.com/panama/chinese-phytosanitary-experts-visit-pineapple-export-plants-panama-8296

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Panama to Open Trade Office in China

The Panamanian government announced that it will open an agribusiness office in the city of Shanghai, which will seek to increase exports to the Asian continent.

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

An announcement will be made of the new office opening (which would be planned for the first months of 2019) during the China International Import Expo (Ciie), one of the most important in Asia that takes place from November 5th to 10th.

Compared to other commercial offices that already operate, Elcapitalfinanciero explains that "... The first office was opened in August this year at the Port of Rotterdam in the Netherlands as part of its strategy to boost Panamanian exports to the European market."

The article adds that "... The announcement of the opening (of the agribusiness office in Shanghai) will be made as part of the official visit to China by the Panamanian delegation headed by the President of the Republic, Juan Carlos Varela."

 

https://www.centralamericadata.com/en/article/main/Panama_to_Open_Trade_Office_in_China

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Moderator comment: Data confirming increasing Chinese commercial activity in Central America in one vertical market sector, specifically with Panama at the top of the list.

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Chinese Furniture Imports Keep Rising

In the first semester of the year, imports of home and office furniture in Central American countries reached $148 million, and purchases from Chinese companies grew 3% with respect to the same period in 2017.

Monday, November 5, 2018

Figures from the information system of the Home and Office Furniture Market and its Parts in Central America, from the Trade Intelligence Area of CentralAmericaData:

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Imports by country
In the first six months of 2018, the main importer of furniture in Central America was Panama, with $53 million, followed by Costa Rica, with $41 million, Guatemala, with $27 million, Honduras with $20 million, and Nicaragua and El Salvador with $17 million respectively.

Origin of imports
From January to June 25% of the value imported from Central America was from China, 23% from the U.S., 7% from Italy, 4% from Colombia and 4% from Brazil.

According to the semester in question of the last seven years, China is the country of origin of Central American imports that has increased the most, since in 2012 represented 19% of the total value purchased, and in 2018 increased to 25%.

Variation in regional imports
Between the first half of 2017 and the same period in 2018, the value imported into the region decreased 5%, from $185 million to $175 million.

The year-on-year decline recorded in imports from January to June, generally contrasts with the reported increase in purchases from Chinese companies, since between the first half of 2017 and the same period in 2018 increased 3%, from $42 million to $44 million.

 

https://www.centralamericadata.com/en/article/main/Chinese_Furniture_Imports_Keep_Rising

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Panama and China strengthen ties in the last quarter of 2018

Thu, 11/08/2018 - 12:10

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Latin America can benefit from an economic work "The Silk Road and Panama, strategic prospective scenario between America and China", is presented in Panama by his author Eddie Tapiero, strategist in competitive intelligence and economist, with the purpose of demonstrating how Panama can take great advantage of alliances with China, as well as the rest of the continent.

Tapiero is part of the negotiating team of the Free Trade Agreement between Panama and China, as well as a trajectory of more than 20 years in the Panama Canal Authority, proposes, among other things, to release the Darien Gap, so that there is the possibility of Communicate effectively by land.

More than 200 pages make this book one of the economic contributions for the end of the year in economic matters, with history, challenges and many present details that will allow to face differently each of the points to face to consolidate an effective link between the Asian country and the region.

And just as part of this expansion, on Wednesday morning, the Ministry of Agricultural Development of Panama (MIDA) announced the fruit export agreement between Simply Natural Harvest, S.A. (Panamanian exporting company) and the Chinese import market, for the pineapple trade to the Asian country.

The agreement signed at the recent International Import Fair of China 2018 (CIIE), expands the scope of the company that was already in charge of the exchange of bananas, mango, lemon and avocado to countries such as Germany, France, Holland and Norway, through of the Panama Exporta program.

China, which has become the second largest commercial ally of Panama and also the second most important user of the Panama Canal, continues as the first supplier of the Colon Free Zone.

But the alliances with China not only remain in the economic sector, since the cultural events also are part of the exchange thanks to the visit of the Theater of Dance and Opera of Hangzhou the next 18 of November with its work "To Know the Great Channel" , which will be presented at the Amador Convention Center and will be totally free.

Roberto Huang, president of the Association of Chinese Entrepreneurs in Panama, is in charge of carrying out this activity that allows direct interaction between China and Panama, as well as the total union between both countries in different areas.

Liu Bo, Political Counselor of the Embassy of China in Panama, assures that with this work, the Chinese culture and heritage reaches the reach of everyone in Panama and the world, with a reach that has exceeded 150 presentations and 170,000 spectators.

 

https://www.panamatoday.com/panama/panama-and-china-strengthen-ties-last-quarter-2018-8339

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