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Peru And Panama Will Begin Negotiations With A View Toward Signing A Free-Trade Agreement

By Dialogo
August 30, 2010



The presidents of Panama, Ricardo Martinelli, and of Peru, Alan García,
agreed to begin negotiations on the signing of a free-trade agreement as soon as
possible, according to the joint announcement they made at the conclusion of their
meeting in the Palace of Government in Lima.

At a brief press conference, the Panamanian president said that he urged his
trade minister, Roberto Henríquez, and the latter’s Peruvian counterpart, Martín
Pérez, to act with “sufficient speed” in order to be able to ratify the trade
agreement quickly.

“(I asked that) they cut down on many of those traditional meetings that turn
into a bunch of fancy meals and dedicate themselves to negotiating in order to sign
a treaty that will benefit the two peoples,” Martinelli said about his exhortation
to the two ministers.

In an agreement signed by their respective foreign ministers, Juan Carlos
Varela and José García Belaunde, Panama and Peru “agree on the need to establish the
negotiating framework for the free-trade agreement before the end of
2010.”

For his part, the Peruvian president said that he will move forward on
establishing free trade in order to strengthen the two countries’ economic
relationship and increase bilateral trade.

“We promise to work, pushing rapidly through the intermediate stages, in
order to make free trade a reality,” the president emphasized.

Trade between the two nations reached a volume of 980 million dollars in
2008, García specified.

Peru annually sells 60 million dollars’ worth of products to Panama, while
its Panamanian imports are worth 1.5 million dollars.

There is another flow of exports to Peru from the Colón foreign-trade zone,
consisting of articles that come from all over the world and are not of Panamanian
origin, explained Martinelli, who was finishing a one-day official visit to
Lima.



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