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Overview of Panama’s Free Trade Agreements

Overview of Panama’s Free Trade Agreements

Find out about Panama's free trade agreements (FTAs), and how they support the country's development and promote benefits for foreign investment.  According to the US Embassy in Panama, the country has "historically served as the crossroads of trade for the Americas.” Thanks to the Panama Canal and the benefits offered by all the free trade zones within the country, it has become a strategic hub to do business. In 2017, Panama exported US$3.06 billion and imported US$24.8 billion, resulting in a trade balance of US$21.7 billion, making it the 66th largest importer in the world.  What is a free trade agreement in Panama?  According to the National Customs Authority or 'Autoridad Nacional de Aduanas', a free trade agreement is a regional or bilateral consensus that helps to promote the exchange of goods and services between the country members. Likewise, FTAs aim to eliminate or reduce trade tariffs between the signing parties. They are often supervised by the World Trade Organization (WTO). Panama is a member of SICA SICA works to integrate Central American markets. SICA, also known as 'Sistema de Integración Centroamericana' is a regional institution located in Central America, founded by Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Panama in 1991. The main purpose of this institution is to promote the integration of Central America, fostering security, freedom, democracy, and social development within the region. SICA is continuously working on the development of initiatives to integrate all these six countries. Thanks to SICA, the...

What Does the Canada-Colombia Free Trade Agreement Mean for Business?

What Does the Canada-Colombia Free Trade Agreement Mean for Business?

The Canada-Colombia Free Trade Agreement (CCoFTA) has been in force since August 2011. It is Colombia’s second free trade agreement with a developed country. The negotiated items in this agreement are comparable to the commercial terms found in Canada’s other bilateral agreements with Chile, Costa Rica, and Peru. Since the establishment of the agreement, trade between both countries has developed tremendously. In this article, we'll describe the principal goals, results, and opportunities of the Canada-Colombia Free Trade Agreement. Goals of the Canada-Colombia Free Trade Agreement The goals of the agreement include: Developing a secure market for goods and services.Creating new employment opportunities and improved working conditions.Reducing trade distortions.Ensuring a predictable commercial framework for business planning and investment.Enhancing the competitiveness of firms in global markets.Strengthening regulations regarding environmental impact.Respect internationally recognized corporate social responsibility standards. Promoting economic development to reduce poverty. Results for Canadian and Colombian business The Canada-Colombia Free Trade Agreement has successfully eliminated tariffs on 98% of the goods and services traded. Additionally, it ensures equitable treatment for Canadian and Colombian investments in each country. Trade between both countries has grown by over 50% since the enforcement of the agreement. As a result, bilateral trade has grown by over 50% since the enforcement of the agreement. In 2019, bilateral trade reached...

How to Import Goods from Paraguay to Argentina

How to Import Goods from Paraguay to Argentina

Paraguay is an attractive destination for multinationals and foreign executives. For those who already have a business in the country, exporting products to Argentina is a very attractive option to expand in the region. For years, many Argentines, as well as other business owners in the region, decided to create companies in Paraguay thanks to the combination of tax incentives, legal certainty and macroeconomic stability that the country offers. According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), Paraguay is the country with the least tax burden in South America (only 15% of GDP), making the country an attractive focus for those interested in importing from Paraguay to Argentina. Background: Imports and Exports of Paraguay Total exports of Paraguayan origin reached a value of US$12,386.1 million in 2019 according to the Foreign Trade report of the Central Bank of Paraguay (BCP) while all Paraguayan imports in 2019 reached US$12,250.9 million.According to the BCP Foreign Trade Bulletin, in 2019 Paraguay has exported in FOB value of US$1.688 million to Argentina. Paraguay has exported in FOB value of USD $ 1.688 million to Argentina. Among the main products that are most imported from Paraguay to Argentina are: Soybeans and corn (Represented with approximately 70%)FuelsElectric powerMineral oilsMachineryRed meatsLeather Despite having a series of trade agreements and having the option of using the Paraguay-Paraná Waterway, the majority of imports from Paraguay to Argentina are made by land and air, due to time and flexibility of processes....

What are the Free Trade Agreements in Guatemala?

What are the Free Trade Agreements in Guatemala?

Guatemala is bolstered by free trade agreements with the United States, the European Union and other Central American countries. The diverse country is blessed by its strategic location, representing a natural bridge between North and South America. In addition, the country takes advantage of being located in the Eastern Standard Time (EST)  zone, which is congruent with key hubs of the lucrative North American market. Guatemala, therefore, meets the best preconditions for conducting trade and other economic activities with the United States, and other key players in the global market. We outline the most significant free trade agreements in Guatemala.  Guatemalan Free Trade Agreements Taiwanese exports to Guatemala include tobacco, seafood (shrimps and lobsters), copper articles, plastic materials, and some other. Taiwan-Guatemala free trade agreement The free trade agreement between Guatemala and Taiwan, enforced in 2006, is primarily based on the extension of free tariff treatments of agricultural exports. As part of that, Guatemala exports US$40 million in products to Taiwan and imports US$90 million.The main exports from Guatemala are sugar and coffee. In return, Taiwanese exports to Guatemala include tobacco, seafood (shrimps and lobsters), copper articles, plastic materials, and some other.Furthermore, the free trade agreement allows business people from Taiwan to invest in Guatemala and to extend their business operations to the United States and other countries in Central America. The latter is possible, as Guatemala is also a member of the Central American Free...

What is the Free Trade Agreement Between Australia and China?

What is the Free Trade Agreement Between Australia and China?

Since the implementation of the free trade agreement between Australia and China (ChAFTA), Australia has secured zero tariffs for key products that enter the Asian market.  Although Australia and China experienced tensions last year, the Asian economy is still a key player in Australian industries, such as mining and the services sector. Expanding a business into Australia provides powerful trading opportunities with Asian markets. The Australian economy has been stable and growing for over 3 decades consecutively, with overall exports growing since 2016. China, Japan, South Korea, India, the US, amongst other countries are Australia’s main buyers, but China’s share of the export pie is currently the biggest. According to the United Nations COMTRADE, China alone accounted for over 30% of the overall Australian exports during 2018, which goes to show the importance of the free trade agreement between Australia and China to improve and ease the entry of Aussie product to the Asian market. Overview: free trade agreement between Australia and China In 2018, exports to China accounted for US$87.73 billion, which was around 30% of the total exports. The amounts of trade between Australia and China are important for both countries. Thanks to its close proximity to China, Australia has become China’s fifth trading partner. In the case of Australia, this relationship has a greater impact, as China is the first trading partner in Australia. In 2018, exports to China accounted for US$87.73 billion, which was around 30% of the total exports. In the midst of important...

New Zealand Exports to China Supported by Upgraded Trade Deal

New Zealand Exports to China Supported by Upgraded Trade Deal

New Zealand is famous for its highly competitive business conditions, including ranking number one in the World Bank Group’s Ease of Doing Business report. The Oceanic island-nation is consistently one of the most transparent countries in the world, and dependence on New Zealand's export economy has driven successive governments to seal new trade deals and agreements with key partners. In November, New Zealand signed off on an upgraded free trade agreement (FTA) with its biggest trading partner: China. This partnership, which has seen New Zealand exports almost quadruple since its founding in 2008, reaches historic levels of bilateral commitment and offers new opportunities for importers and exporters on both sides. We explore the outcomes for businesses operating in and trading from New Zealand as a result of this landmark deal. International trade relations: New Zealand and China Bilateral relations between New Zealand and China began in 1972, and the two countries signed their original free trade agreement in 2008. This historic relationship was the first of its kind between China and a developed nation. As China and the surrounding region experienced a significant economic boom between 1979-2017, this relationship and others like it with Asian nations became of increasing importance to New Zealand. New Zealand’s Asia-centric foreign policy agenda has resulted in strong ties with major and emerging powers in the region. China is now the country’s largest trading partner. Between them, their total import and export activity reaches NZ$32 billion. Chinese students...

What are the Free Trade Agreements in Argentina?

What are the Free Trade Agreements in Argentina?

Historically, free trade agreements have not been part of the psyche of Argentina’s governments. Argentina has traditionally been a nation with an inward-looking business environment, following a set of protectionist laws and regulations. Since 2015, however, president Mauricio Macri has sought to open Argentina’s doors to international business. In order to achieve this, Macri has been active in promoting greater integration through free trade agreements. Since his inauguration, his political narrative has been ‘opening Argentina to global trade’. Macri has been successful with this mandate, opening up a number of trade avenues, allowing greater exports of Argentinian produce and improving bilateral relations as a consequence. Though Argentina has been part of regional trade groups and global trade blocks for a long time, its role has been more passive than active. Macri has been trying to reverse this attitude set by the Peronist government’s legacy. Free trade in Argentina: World Trade Organization One of these trade blocs is the World Trade Organization (WTO). Argentina has been a part of the WTO since January 1995. Whilst being a long-term and well-integrated member, Argentina has generally taken a back seat in its activity. However, in 2017, Macri successfully organized for the WTO’s ministerial conference to come to Argentina for the first time. By opening its arms to the world’s largest trade group, Macri achieved a monumental political triumph; sending a signal to the world that Argentina is open for business and welcoming foreign investors gladly. More...

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