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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...

Indonesia Ratifies Free Trade Agreement with Australia

Indonesia Ratifies Free Trade Agreement with Australia

Indonesian lawmakers have officially ratified free trade agreements with Australia. The Indonesia-Australia Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement, also known as IA-CEPA, is the beginning of a new chapter of cooperation between these regional neighbors. The bilateral pact was agreed by at least 374 representative members during a plenary session on 6 February 2020.  Indonesia is a growing market for Australian goods and services exporters. In the years 2018-19, the total two-way trade in goods and services with Indonesia was worth AU$17.8 billion (approximately US$11.8 billion), making Indonesia the thirteenth-largest trading partner of Australia. The partnership agreement between Australia and Indonesia will provide both countries’ businesses with opportunities to expand and diversify this partnership. Cooperation objectives from the Indonesia-Australia free trade agreement There are three key objectives set out in the trade agreement in order to increase the effectiveness of economic institutions and infrastructure, improve human development for a productive society, and create an inclusive society through effective governance. Objective 1: Effective economic institutions and infrastructure Strengthening economic institutions and infrastructure is important to Indonesia's development. Australia is helping Indonesia to increase inclusive growth and productive jobs through its public policy and regulatory settings.  The two countries are also working to strengthen access to agricultural markets for farmers in Eastern Indonesia, driving economic development and...

Understanding Regulations to Import and Export in Uruguay

Understanding Regulations to Import and Export in Uruguay

Learn about trade activity and how to import and export in Uruguay. Running trade operations in Uruguay offers many advantages to companies doing business in Latin America. One of the key benefits of conducting imports and exports in Uruguay are the country’s trade agreements, which lead to a tax reduction and in facilitated across borders activities.  Furthermore, Uruguay is a member of the World Trade Organization, ALADI and MERCOSUR. All these organizations share one target: reducing trade barriers and creating a non-tariff area between all member countries.  Additionally, Uruguay has set up so-called ‘Zonas Francas’ - free trade zones within the country, which offer companies further tax advantages. Moreover, local legislation enables foreigners to fully own a local company and operate within the country’s political stable environment. We outline regulations to import and export in Uruguay, and how you can access experienced trade law specialists to support your business activities. Requirements for import and export in Uruguay In order to trade in or from Uruguay, any import or export business must have a company registered with the General Tax Directorate (DGI), the Social Security Bank (BPS) and the State Insurance Bank (BSE).  The services of a Customs Broker must be requested at the Uruguayan Customs Broker Association. Moreover, the services of a Customs Broker must be requested at the Uruguayan Customs Broker Association. The importer or exporter must submit all necessary documents to the Customs Broker Association to work with a registered...

Increasing New Zealand Export Opportunities with Mexico and Peru

Increasing New Zealand Export Opportunities with Mexico and Peru

New Zealand export activity is reaching further afield, as the country establishes greater trade relationships with Latin American nations. Though diplomatic relations with countries such as Mexico and Peru extend back decades and even centuries, there’s still a great deal of trade potential between these 3 countries. Now, following the signing of the historic Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership with 10 other countries, New Zealand opens up new export opportunities and unprecedented access to Mexico and Peru markets. New Zealand export opportunities: focus on ‘emerging consumers’ The country’s trade agency, New Zealand Trade and Enterprise (NZTE), held a seminar in September 2019 to discuss trade opportunities for New Zealand export hopefuls in Mexico and Peru, two of the nation’s largest consumer markets in Latin America. The seminar expressed that New Zealand’s two-way trade with Mexico reaches nearly NZ$800 million per year, and that Peru is the country’s third-largest trading partner in Latin America. As Peru and Mexico’s economies continue to develop at a rapid pace, both remain open to accept further New Zealand export offerings. Exporting wine to Mexico  Beer and tequila are the main stars of Mexico’s alcoholic beverages industry, presenting an opportunity for New Zealand wine exports to enter the fore. Market research conducted by NZTE suggests that despite the AMLO (Andrés Manual López Obrador) government’s interest in supporting local business and locally made goods, the country houses a curious consumer demographic that demands new products...

China and Latin America Trade: Mercosur, Belt and Road, and BRICS

China and Latin America Trade: Mercosur, Belt and Road, and BRICS

Latin American powers are looking to expand trade and innovation channels with the rest of the world. As the region continues to grow at an exponential rate, the region can enjoy greater attention from global powers and diversify its trade portfolio. China continues to influence Latin America trade and investment, and is reaching out to regional leaders to peddle its Belt and Road Initiative, a program of work that aims to connect China with the rest of the world through interconnected, streamlined trade routes. We look at the potential for future China-Latin America Trade through Mercosur, the Belt and Road Initiative, and other avenues. Latin America Trade: Mercosur Mercosur is a regional trade bloc made up of Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay (Venezuela was originally a member but was suspended in 2016). The bloc was formed to develop greater economic integration between member parties, supporting growth and connectivity through shared trade policies. These countries have a collective population of more than 250 million people. Their aggregate economic activity represents nearly 75% of that of South America as a region. Mercosur countries have a total GDP value of around US$5 trillion, and as such the bloc is considered the fourth largest in the world (behind the European Union, North American Free Trade Agreement, and Association of South East Asian Nations). Mercosur is considered by member countries’ governments as “a platform to the region which must be open to the world,” and has therefore recognized several ‘Associate members.’ This includes Chile, Peru,...

Double Taxation Deal Improves Ease of Doing Business in Chile and India

Double Taxation Deal Improves Ease of Doing Business in Chile and India

On November 27, India’s Union Cabinet passed a Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTAA) with Chile. This agreement removes the issue of people living in either country being taxed twice on any incomes they earn in the partner country. This is helpful for expatriate taxpayers and international business owners, who can enjoy an improved ease of doing business in Chile and India. Chile and India share close economic relations, and this is another step in the direction of strengthening the bilateral connection between two regional powers. We explore the details of the double taxation agreement, and potential for international commercial activity in Chile and India as a result. Tax relief for people doing business in Chile and India Expatriate taxpayers and international business owners can enjoy improved ease of doing business in Chile and India with a double taxation agreement. Chile and India have been negotiating a double taxation pact for some time now. The Indian government had expected to sign this deal in 2014. It’s unclear in public records as to why this didn’t go ahead. The DTAA signed in 2019 now provides relief to those living and working across the two countries, which is a confidence booster for business in Chile and India. Living and commercial operational costs can now be reduced, offering a viable destination for people and businesses to operate. This DTAA adheres to minimum requirements and standards of the G-20 OECD Base Erosion Profit Shifting (BEPS) project. This means that the DTAA between India and Chile will not protect those using tax evasion...

How to Register a Cargo Airline in Brazil

How to Register a Cargo Airline in Brazil

Brazil is well known in the world for its prominent tourism industry. According to the Ministry of Tourism, between 2016 and 2018 Brazil received more than 30 million passengers landing on international flights. However, although there has been a growth in the demand for air cargo transportation in recent years, this market has not been much explored by Brazilian and international airlines when compared to passengers’ flights.  It is important to highlight that Brazilian legislation, since 2019, allows 100% foreign ownership of airlines. This is a remarkable change to the airline market in Brazil and it is definitely a business opportunity for international cargo airlines that intend to establish and operate in a growing market.   How to Register a Cargo Airline in Brazil? Responsible authorities for airline registration The Brazilian civil aviation authority responsible for your registration is the National Civil Aviation Agency (ANAC).  On top of that, this process involves approaching the relevant aviation authority in your company’s country of origin with the support of diplomatic consulates. Depending on your origin country, you may also need to connect with the International Air Transport Association (IATA). Steps to register a cargo airline We outline the key steps to form your airline company in Brazil and take advantage of the country’s welcoming stance on foreign ownership. 3. Obtain and present the instrument of designation for a cargo airline  The instrument of designation is a document issued by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) of...

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