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Invitation to Ikebana International Fair 2018

Wednesday, December 5th, 2018

On Wednesday December 19, Ikebana International Fair 2018 will be taken place at Suitengu Room, 3F, Royal Park Hotel.

Panama Ambassador’s Spouse will be participating in the international bazar of this event, where you can purchase Panamanian handcrafts, rum, coffee and books.

Profit of this bazar will be used for victims of the torrential rain disaster in western Japan.

We will be waiting to join us, enjoying Beauty of Ikebana and Panamanian culture as well as other participants countries.

Please see below for more information. ↓

Panama To Open First Agro-Commercial Officie In Rotterdam, Seeks To Strengthen The “Panama Exporta” Country Brand

Monday, August 6th, 2018

Panama has taken a step reach more than 550 million people in the European continent, with the signing of an interinstitutional agreement that formalizes the opening, for the first time in the history, of an agro-commercial office outside Panamanian borders, located in the Port of Rotterdam, The Netherlands.

The Port of Rotterdam receives more than 60% of Panamanian products that go to Europe, so the creation of this office opens the way to strengthening relations with other nations and ultimately having a greater presence of our products in the old continent.

The office, which will open in the first days of August, will be responsible for holding meetings with the various parties involved in the commercial activities of Panamanian companies or producers in Europe, following up on Panamanian products that are entering through the Port of Rotterdam, and creating a directory of the current clients and buyers of Panamanian companies.

Later, during an execution stage, contacts between Panamanian companies and European clients must be coordinated, a list of important fairs and events relevant to our agro-commercial office will be designed, and the “Panamá Exporta” country brand will be promoted in different markets and locations. This should also function as a complement to the work being done by the Ministry of Commerce and Industries (MICI) and the Ministry of Agricultural Development (MIDA), regarding the monitoring and commercial accompaniment provided to producers, so that from Europe, it may keep the whole country informed of European market trends, prices, and the behavior of our competitors.

The Minister of Agricultural Development Eduardo Enrique Carles was optimistic about the opening of this new office because it represents great challenges and opportunities for the agro-export sector. “Today, we fulfill another great challenge, an achievement that reinforces our commitment to continue supporting the agricultural sector and the economic growth of the country. In a joint effort between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Agricultural Development, the Ministry of Commerce and Industry and the Maritime Authority of Panama, we sign this inter-institutional agreement, which officially marks the opening of the Agro-Commercial Office in Rotterdam, the Netherlands.” –he expressed- “Our land, our people have so much to offer. We produce the best. Since we arrived at the Ministry of Agricultural Development we have led a tireless effort to stabilize the sector and to initiate the integral transformation of agriculture, which had been abandoned for more than 30 years. Panama Exporta is a tangible example of this work.”

The head of the agricultural portfolio stressed that it has been a great achievement not only for this government, but for the State, because “we are directing exports to a new place. Panama has all the conditions to position itself as a leader in this component that will benefit the country’s economy. And we are not going to stop, for the next year. We will be opening the agro-commercial office in Shanghai, China, so that we can expand and strengthen our presence in the Asian continent”.

The Minister of Commerce and Industries Augusto Arosemena Moreno, for his part, shared his satisfaction with the work that is being done, because today it pays off and marks the way towards the consolidation of the Panama Exporta country brand in international markets.

“As facilitators of foreign trade, the creation of Agro-Commercial offices in other countries became one of our goals with the primary purpose of serving as a direct connection between the exporter and the buyers,”he said.

The Vice President of the Republic and Minister of Foreign Affairs Isabel de Saint Malo de Alvarado, congratulated the collaborators and representatives of the government of Panama in each of the countries where our State has a presence:

“I congratulate the efforts of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, MIDA and the MICI and  thank the Dutch government for its support in terms of cooperation and exchange of experiences. We will continue to explore similar possibilities in other regions to open more opportunities”she expressed, regarding the opening of the new agro-commercial office.

More than 20 companies already market their products under the country brand Panama Exporta; while another 80 companies are registered to reach the international market bearing its seal. In fact, after several years, the country brand led to an increase of 4% in exports. And for the first months of 2018, exports increased by 10%, more than 180 million dollars.

Currently, Panamanian products arrive in European market countries such as Holland, Germany, England, Italy, Switzerland and Poland. Nevertheless, an important function of the agro-commercial office is to make new contacts with countries that represent a new opportunity for our producers, without neglecting the current clients that exist in the better known European countries.

For more details, see the video (spanish only)↓

Japanese Government Decorates the Panama Canal Administrator and his Mother

Wednesday, November 15th, 2017

On November 3, 2017, the Cabinet Office of Japanese Government announced the Decoration to Mr. Jorge Luis Quijano Arango, Panama Canal Administrator, and his mother, Mrs. Analia Arango de Quijano.

The Decoration of the Japanese Government, initiated in 1875, has been bestowed twice a year, in spring and fall, to the nationals and foreigners in recognition of their distinguished contribution to Japanese society.

In this occasion, the Japanese government awarded the Decoration “The Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Star” to Mr. Jorge Quijano, Panama Canal Administrator, in honor of his contribution to strengthen the commercial and maritime relations between Japan and Panama.

In addition, the Japanese government granted the award “The Order of the Rising Sun, Silver Rays” to Mrs. Analia Arango de Quijano, mother of the Administrator Quijano, in acknowledgement of her contribution to disseminate Japanese culture in Panama, through the Japanese floral art, Ikebana.

This year`s Autumn Decoration was bestowed to 4,252 people, including 149 foreigners. The Decoration “The Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Star” was conferred to 24 foreigners. On the other hand, “The Order of the Rising Sun, Silver Rays” was awarded to 5 foreigners, in which Mrs. Analia Arango de Quijano was the only female foreign recipient of this award.

World Youth Day 2019 in Panama

Tuesday, October 24th, 2017

The Embassy of Panama in Japan informs that the World Youth Day 2019 will be held in Panama between January 22 to 27 in 2019.

Please access to the following video and presentation to get more information.

Networking session

Call for abstracts for the 34th PIANC World Congress

Sunday, August 27th, 2017

Panama announces a call for abstracts for the 34th PIANC (Permanent International Association of Navigation Congresses) World Congress, which will be held from May 7 to 12, 2018 in Panama.

For more information↓.

Guide for Disaster Preparedness in Tokyo

Wednesday, June 7th, 2017

The Tokyo Metropolitan Government has compiled a manual called “Disaster Preparedness Tokyo” (Tokyo Bousai*) to help households get fully prepared for an earthquake directly hitting Tokyo and other various disasters.

Please access to the following URL to get more information. ↓.

Panama Ship Registry 100 years of serving the world 1917-2017

Tuesday, April 18th, 2017

Panama’s President Juan Carlos Varela Signs Mutual Administrative Assistance Convention for Tax Matters into Law

Thursday, February 23rd, 2017

As a continuation of President Varela’s fight against tax evasion, the Government of Panama now allows for exchange of tax information on request with over 100 tax jurisdictions

22 FEBRUARY (Panama City) – President of Panama Juan Carlos Varela signed into law today the implementation of the Mutual Administrative Assistance Convention (MAC), which allows for sharing tax information multilaterally on request with the 107 jurisdictions that are part of the convention and provides a common legal basis for cooperation on tax matters. In implementing the MAC, Panama officially joins all countries from the G20 , BRIICS, OECD, and other major financial centers, as well as an increasing number of developing countries as members to the convention.

“The signature of the MAC into law today is one more step to modernizing and transforming Panama’s financial and services platform, as it establishes the framework for the implementation of international transparency and cooperation initiatives,” said Luis Miguel Hincapie, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, who added, “Starting today, the 107 tax jurisdiction cosignatories to the MAC can request information from Panama without having to negotiate a bilateral treaty.”

Signing the new law is yet another milestone of the ambitious legislative package that President Varela’s administration has presented to Panama’s National Assembly to meet international expectations on financial transparency. In recent months, Panama also joined the Base Erosion and Profit Shifting Initiative of the OECD, and has actively participated in international forums that discuss tax matters.

International Congress on Controlled Environment Agriculture in Panama

Thursday, February 9th, 2017

Panama announces the 2nd International Conress on Controlled Environment Agriculture will take place from May 17 to 19, in Convention Center of the Hotel Eel Panama, located in Panama City.

For more information↓.

‘Panama Papers’ spurred global anti-corruption fight

Friday, January 6th, 2017

Seven months after the leak of 11.5 million documents from a law firm in an incident that has come to be known as the “Panama Papers”, the world is right to ask what has been done since to fight global tax evasion and promote financial transparency.

As president of Panama, and in particular through my interactions with the international community, it is clear that the affair shined a light into the dark corners of global finance and sparked a worldwide reform agenda. Despite the unfortunate name, The Panama Papers has been good for Panama as well as for the world.

Panama was well on the path of reform long before the scandal broke. I was only 21 months in office at the time and had already removed Panama from the international Financial Action Task Force’s “Gray List” in record time. But the crisis accelerated the pace of reform and it engaged the world in a collective effort.

Panama’s legal system was being abused by tax cheats from all over the world. The cost of tax evasion for those governments is approximately $200 billion a year. That means less infrastructure, fewer health benefits and poorer education for millions of citizens. This is even more dramatic in the developing world, where millions are deprived of water, sanitation and other basic necessities. The Panama Papers changed everything. From Canada, to the United Kingdom, Denmark, the European Union and Uganda, countries worldwide have intensified their investigations and prosecutions of tax evasion.

Switzerland announced in November that the government it is proposing a tax reform that could potentially abolish corporate tax arrangements that are not up to international standards. The European Council adopted resolutions to strengthen financial transparency and to achieve more effective cooperation between tax authorities. The Canadian Standing Committee on Finance met to give recommendations to Canada’s Revenue Agency to contribute to global efforts to fight tax evasion. The United Nations’ top expert on the promotion of a democratic and equitable international order has also called for action, urging the new Secretary General to convene a world conference on tax evasion.

Panama, too, has made huge progress in this fight. The world may have forgotten that over the course of only 25 years, Panama went from being ruled by military dictators and criminals to a functional, albeit young, democracy, with some blemishes in between, some of which we are still dealing with. From the beginning of my political career, ending corruption and promoting transparency have been among my top goals. In fact, as Panama’s foreign minister I signed numerous transparency treaties, including treaties of exchange of tax information with European and North American countries, and reactivated Panama’s participation in the Global Forum of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). I was elected president on an anti-corruption platform.

I have continued to take steps to clean up our past, domestically and internationally, including negotiating further expansion of our financial and tax exchange agreements with countries such as the United States, Japan and Germany. We have also maintained dialogue with the OECD, and officially requested an invitation to join their Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance on Tax Matters in November. Joining this mechanism will allow us to cooperate with more than 90 countries exchanging financial information upon request. At home, we are fighting corruption and holding those responsible accountable. By cleaning up corruption, my government has been able to invest in our infrastructure and our people, giving opportunity to millions and ensuring continued economic prosperity at home. Our economy is today among the fastest growing in Latin America, and confidence in our financial future is increasing. I recently concluded a $2.6 billion loan package with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to expand our transportation system with a state-of-the-art monorail system

To be sure, more changes are needed. That is why I recently presented measures to our National Assembly that would strengthen legal and business registration systems and start adjusting our technological platform for when, in 2018, we start implementing bilateral automatic exchange of information by request. I have also just received the long-awaited findings of an independent blue-ribbon panel I commissioned to examine Panama’s legal and banking systems. I am proud to say that we are already well on our way to implementing many of their recommendations. The report is available to the public.

Our call for new multilateral approaches to fighting tax evasion has translated into real legislative projects that are passing through congresses around the world. And best of all, citizens have become heavily involved in holding their governments accountable on the decisions they make regarding tax law. International organizations and world leaders, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel, have praised Panama’s efforts at home and our role as a global catalyst for reform.

It is my hope that, one day, Panamanians will come to regard “The Panama Papers” as a badge of honor; a moment where we took the lead globally to address the exploitation of our country by unscrupulous tax cheats, returned transparency and accountability to our nation and to others, as well, and improved the prospects for social development worldwide by redirecting needed tax incomes to the critical investments our people deserve.