Last update: 06-Dec-2013 7:26 pm
Friday, December 06, 2013
Trinidad & Tobago Guardian Online
You are here
T&T signs partial scope deal with Panama
Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Dookeran and Ricardo Quijano Jimenez, Panama’s Minister of Commerce and Industry, yesterday signed a partial scope trade agreement between the two countries in the presence of Ricardo Martinelli Berrocal, President of Panama and Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar, in Panama City, Panama.
Negotiation of the agreement began in January, 2011 and were successfully concluded the following June. The T&T negotiating team was led by Mervyn Assam, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary for Trade and Industry and Diana Salazar, Panama’s Vice Minister of Commercial and International Negotiations. The agreement was then approved by the Cabinet of T&T and certified by the Caricom Secretariat, after receiving agreement from all member states.
The agreement, in addition to the text that governs its implementation, provides preferential treatment that exporters from T&T will enjoy in the Panamanian market and the reciprocal preferential treatment that Panamanian exporters will receive in the T&T market.
In the case of T&T, there will be immediate tariff elimination for several manufactured products and tariff reductions in other areas. The agreement will strengthen the existing trade relationship between the two countries, as it will afford further market diversification and penetration. For Panama, 40 per cent of the tariff lines negotiated will receive a 100 per cent preferential rate. Some of the products that will benefit are live animals for breeding, fresh and chilled meat, fresh and chilled fish, eggs, wheat, salt and pepper.
Hours before the signing, in an address at the opening of the VII Americas Competitiveness Forum, Prime Minister Persad-Bissessar expressed the hope that friendly relations between the two countries will continue as trade is expanded through the partial scope agreement. “We are excited as well because as we look to the future we see the Panama Canal as a main economic artery for the Americas and the creation of opportunities for our respective countries,” she said.
T&T has consistently enjoyed a favourable balance of trade with Panama. In 2009 imports from Panama totalled $51,706,988 and exports amounted to $317,453,887. The main products imported included textiles, articles of plastics, different varieties of fish, carpets.
Traditional imports are soaps and cleaning preparations, sugar confectionery, medicaments, crude vegetable materials, articles of rubber, paper, glass, cutlery, gear boxes, taps, cocks, valves, ball or rubber bearings, office machines and footwear. The exports for 2009 included traditional oil and gas products as well as canned sausages, aerated beverages, napkins and tanks of plastics.
User comments posted on this website are the sole views and opinions of the comment writer and are not representative of Guardian Media Limited or its staff. Guardian Media Limited accepts no liability and will not be held accountable for user comments.
Please help us keep out site clean from inappropriate comments by using the flag option.
Guardian Media Limited reserves the right to remove, to edit or to censor any comments. Any content which is considered unsuitable, unlawful or offensive, includes personal details, advertises or promotes products, services or websites or repeats previous comments will be removed.