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Thursday, September 19 2019 @ 09:13 am EDT

Panama to Sign Accord With Singapore

Money Matters PANAMA CITY, Panama — Panama has announced it will sign an accord with Singapore, opening up greater access to each other's markets, Panama's vice president announced. The agreement to be signed March 1 is a "strategic alliance between two countries that offer services," said Ruben Arosemena, who is also administrator of Panama's Maritime Authority, on Tuesday. In a statement released by the Maritime Authority, Arosemena said the agreement will benefit Panama's farming sector, since "Singapore does not count on a large production" and "imports almost all its raw materials." The signing of the deal is expected to come as Arosemena wraps up a tour of Europe and Asia. The vice president is scheduled to meet with Singaporean investors, who have expressed interest mainly in maritime, shipyards, cruise lines, and technology.

Trade between the countries currently totals about US$5.2 million (euro4.4 million) per year, mostly from Singapore's sales.

Panamanian lawmakers would have to ratify the agreement once it is signed and agree on a starting date, the Ministry of Commerce and Industry said.

Panama currently has trade agreements with El Salvador and Taiwan, and recently concluded negotiations with Chile. Talks with the United States are currently hinging on revisions to agriculture and livestock health regulations.
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