T&T, Panama sign trade deal
Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Dookeran and Ricardo Quijano Jimenez, Minister of Commerce and Industry of Panama, yesterday signed a partial scope trade agreement between the two countries in Panama City, Panama.
The signing was done in the presence of Panama’s president Ricardo Martinelli Berrocal and Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar.
The partial scope trade agreement provides the preferential treatment that exporters from Trinidad and Tobago will enjoy in the Panamanian market and the reciprocal preferential treatment that Panamanian exporters will receive in the Trinidad and Tobago market.
In a statement from Port of Spain yesterday the Office of the Prime Minister said: “In the case of Trinidad and Tobago, there will be immediate tariff elimination in a number of important manufactured products and also tariff reduction in a number of other areas. This agreement will strengthen the existing trade relationship between the two countries, as it will afford further market diversification and penetration.”
In the case of Panama, 40 per cent of the tariff lines negotiated will receive a 100 per cent preferential rate. Some of the products that will be benefited from said rate are: live animals for breeding, fresh and chilled meat, fresh and chilled fish, eggs, wheat, salt, pepper, among other, the statement added.
Negotiation of the agreement commenced in January 2011 and was brought to a conclusion in June 2011.
Thereafter, the agreement had to be approved by the Cabinet of Trinidad and Tobago, positively vetted by the Attorney General and subsequently certified by the Caricom Secretariat, after receiving agreement from all Caricom member states, the statement said.