Economy & Business - March 2021


PANAMA | FTA with South Korea takes effect. On 1 March a free trade agreement (FTA) between Panama and South Korea took effect. Negotiations regarding the FTA began in June 2015 between South Korea and six Central American countries (Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Panama) and will eventually eliminate tariffs on about 95% of goods traded by both sides. The FTA was approved by Panama’s legislature in July 2020 and has already taken effect in Costa Rica, Nicaragua, El Salvador, and Honduras. The FTA provides immediate access for Panama’s agricultural products such as coffee, palm oil, tomato paste, rum, and sea food. It also includes market access at preferential conditions for some Panamanian exports such as frozen, fresh, or refrigerated mince; frozen pork; yucca; and tropical fruits (pineapples, bananas, watermelon, melon, papaya), among other things. South Korea is Panama’s fourth main trading partner in Asia with trade totalling US$354m in 2019.

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