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Panama creates list of countries that discriminate, to protect economic and commercial interests

Tuesday, March 13th, 2018

The Ministries of Economy and Finance, Foreign Affairs and Trade, and Industry of the Republic of Panama issued an initial list of 20 jurisdictions in Latin America, Europe and Asia that apply discriminatory or restrictive measures to the Republic of Panama.

9 March, 2018 (Panama City, Panama) – The Panamanian Ministries of Economy and Finance, Foreign Affairs and Trade, and Industry of the Republic of Panama, issued a list of 20 jurisdictions in Latin America, Europe and Asia that apply discriminatory or restrictive measures against the country and that affect their economic and commercial interests.

The list, created by resolution and signed by the ministers of the respective portfolios– Dulcidio De La Guardia, Isabel de Saint Malo de Alvarado and Augusto Arosemena– is the first step in Panama’s evaluation of reciprocal actions towards countries that discriminate against it, as established by Law 48 of October 26, 2016.

According to Law 48, the corresponding diplomatic steps, propose and approve actions against States that affect the economic and commercial interests of the nation.

The countries included in the list of Panama are: Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, El Salvador, Peru, Uruguay, Venezuela, Croatia, Slovenia, Estonia, France, Greece, Lithuania, Poland, Portugal, Cameroon, Georgia, Russia and Serbia, jurisdictions that keep Panama has included in different discriminatory lists.

The measure will be effective as of its publication in the Official Gazette. Whereas the list is to be revised at least once a year, the working group responsible for preparing it (the ‘code of conduct group’) can recommend an update at any time.

For more information↓.

Embassy of Panama participates in the Japan International Orchid Festival Grand Prix 2018

Thursday, March 8th, 2018

From February 16th to 23rd, 2018, the Embassy of Panama in Japan participated in the Japan International Orchids Festival Grando Prix 2018, which was held in Tokyo Dome.

In this occasion, Mr. Ayana Hatada, Wife of Ambassador of Panama to Japan, designed a stand of Panama based on the concept of ¨Library of a Botanist”, which was decorated with various orchids from Panama and Central America, including the orchid called “Espiritu Santo”.

The Japan International Orchids Festival Grand Prix is the biggest orchid exhibition in the world, with approximately 100,000 varieties of orchid from various regions, including wild species. In this year, the exhibitors from 21 countries and regions participated in the 28th version of this event.

It is important to point out that the event counted on the presence of Her Highness Princess Takamado, who visited the stand of Panama and exchanged opinions with the Wife of Ambassador about the varieties of Panamanian orchids.

In the stand of Panama, from left, H.E. Ritter N. Díaz, Ambassador of Panama to Japan and Mrs. Ayana Hatada, Wife of Ambassador

In the stand of Panama, from left, H.E. Ritter N. Díaz, Ambassador of Panama to Japan and Mrs. Ayana Hatada, Wife of Ambassador

Stand of Panama

The venue decorated by orchids

The venue decorated by orchids

Commemorative ceremony on the occasion of the 40th Anniversary of Sister-City Agreement between Panama and Imabari

Thursday, March 8th, 2018

On February 1, 2018, in the collaboration of the Embassy of Panama in Japan and the Consulate-General of Panama in Kobe, the Mayor of Panama city carried out a ceremony on the occasion of the 40th Anniversary of the Sister-City Agreement between Panama city and Imabari city. 。

The event started with a workshop of painting, where students of primary school in Panama drew images based on the concept of ocean and international friendship. Their painting will be exhibited in the 23rd Imabari Towel Design Exhibition. During the workshop, the Mayor of Panama City, Mr. Jose Isabel Blandon Figueroa, and the Deputy Mayor of Imabari City, Mr. Hiroshi Ochi, expressed their wishes to continue strengthening the friendship between both cities.

After the workshop, the Deputy Mayor Ochi carried out a presentation about Imabari in order to promote his city for the Tokyo Olimpic 2020 as a training place for Panamanian team.

Furthermore, a reception took place in commemoration of the 40th Anniversary of the Sister-City relationship between Panama city and Imabari city, where the authorities of both cities exchanged the commemorative gifts as a token of the historical friendship. During the reception, the Mayor of Panama Mr. Blandon praised the friendly ties between both cities, while the Deputy Mayor Mr. Ochi, on behalf of the Mayor Mr. Ryoji Kan (who was unabled to join due to the health condition), expressed his hope to strengthen the existing relationship for more progress to both cities.

The ceremony counted on the participation of H.E. Ritter N. Diaz, Ambassador of Panama to Japan, H.E. Yoshihisa Endo, Ambassador of Japan to Panama, Mr. Rafael Aparicio, Consul-General of Panama in Kobe, Mr. Jorge Quijano, Administrator of the Panama Canal and Mr. Manuel Grimaldo, General Manager of the Colon Free Zone.

Mayor of Panama city, Mr. Jose Isabel Blandon Figueroa, with the students of primary school of Panama

Mayor of Panama city, Mr. Jose Isabel Blandon Figueroa, with the students of primary school of Panama

Deputy Mayor of Imabari, Mr. Hiroshi Ochi, giving a commemorative gifts to the students of primary school of Panama.

Deputy Mayor of Imabari, Mr. Hiroshi Ochi, giving a commemorative gifts to the students of primary school of Panama.

During the workshop of painting

During the workshop of painting

Mayor Blandon and Deputy Mayor Ochi with the students

Mayor Blandon and Deputy Mayor Ochi with the students

Mayor Blandon, during his speech in the commemorative reception of the 40th Anniversaty of the Sister-City Agreement between Panama and Imabari

Mayor Blandon, during his speech in the commemorative reception of the 40th Anniversaty of the Sister-City Agreement between Panama and Imabari

Deputy Mayor of Imabari, Mr, Hiroshi Ochi, during his speech in the reception

Deputy Mayor of Imabari, Mr, Hiroshi Ochi, during his speech in the reception

The participants in the reception

The participants in the reception

Visita oficial a Panamá de la Delegación de la ciudad de Imabari.

Thursday, March 8th, 2018

From January 31 to February 2, 2018, on the sideline of the 40th Anniversary of the Sister-city Agreement between Panama and Imabari, a delegation from Imabari made an inspection visit to Panama in order to know the logistic and maritime infrastructure in our country. 。

The delegation was headed by the Deputy Mayor of Imabari City, Mr. Hiroshi Ochi, on behalf of the Mayor Mr. Ryoji Kan (who was unabled to join due to health condition) and composed of the President of City Council of Imabari and executives of important ship companies from the said city. During the visit, the delegation was accompanied by H.E. Ritter N. Díaz, Ambassador of Panama to Japan, and Mr. Rafael Aparicio, Consul-General of Panama in Kobe.

The inspection tour started with a visit to the Cocoli, Miraflores and Agua Clara locks of the Panama Canal. The delegation could observe the operation of the expanded Canal and the navigation of the Neo-Panamax ships. In Miraflores Lock, they participated in a luncheon meeting offered by the Panama Canal Administrator, Mr. Jorge Quijano, in which the participants could exchange opinions about the Canal toll and other business areas that the Canal is developing.

In addition, the delegation carried out a courtesy visit to the Panama Maritime Authority (AMP) and participated in a dinner by invitation of the Consulates-General of Panama in Tokyo and Kobe, with the presence of Mr. Jorge Baracat, Panama Maritime Administrator. In this occasion, the delegation members could exchange opinions with the AMP’s officials about the advantages of Panama ship registry, enjoying a Panamanian folkdance presentation.

Afterwards, the delegation visited the Colon Free Zone, where the members received a presentation from Mr. Manuel Grimaldo, General Manager of the company, about the incentives and services of the said free zone, emphasizing the strategic location of Panama.

During the tour in the Colon Free Zone, the delegation visited Koyo Latin America S.A., a Japanese organization established in the free zone. The members had an opportunity to observe the logistics and warehousing advantages in the free zone of Colon, including the import and re-export of the products delivered to Latinamerican region. Also, the delegation had an inspection visit to the Balboa Port by courtesy of Panama Ports Company, in which they inspected the port infrastructure and the containers movement.

It is important to point out that this official visit counted on the participation of important ship companies in Japan to promote the Panama ship registry and the logistic platform of our country.

Visit to Cocoli Lock

Visit to Cocoli Lock

Visit to Agua Clara Lock

Miraflores Lock

Miraflores Lock

H.E. Ritter N. Diaz, Ambassador of Panama to Japan and Mr. Hiroshi Ochi, Deputy Mayor of Imabari, in Miraflores Lack

H.E. Ritter N. Diaz, Ambassador of Panama to Japan and Mr. Hiroshi Ochi, Deputy Mayor of Imabari, in Miraflores Lack

Control area of Miraflores Lock

Control area of Miraflores Lock

Deputy Mayor Ochi, trying the operation of the Agua Clara Lock
From left: Mr. Hiroshi Ochi, Deputy Mayor of Imabari and Mr. Jorge Quijano, Administrator of the Panama Canal

From left: Mr. Hiroshi Ochi, Deputy Mayor of Imabari and Mr. Jorge Quijano, Administrator of the Panama Canal

During the courtesy visit to the Panama Maritime Authority

During the courtesy visit to the Panama Maritime Authority

During the meeting in the Colon Free Zone

During the meeting in the Colon Free Zone

Mr. Manuel Grimaldo, General Manager of the Colon Free Zone, during his presentation

Mr. Manuel Grimaldo, General Manager of the Colon Free Zone, during his presentation

During the inspection visit to the company Koyo Latin America S.A.,

During the inspection visit to the company Koyo Latin America S.A.,

During the inspection visit to the company Koyo Latin America S.A.,

During the inspection visit to the company Koyo Latin America S.A.,

During the inspection tour in Balboa Port

During the inspection tour in Balboa Port

Inauguration of the Panama Chiba Coffee sale

Friday, March 2nd, 2018

On March 1st, 2018, H.E. Ritter Diaz, the Ambassador of the Republic of Panama to Japan, was invited to the inauguration ceremony of the new sale of the Panamanian coffee called “Panama Chiba Coffee”, which is a collaborative project between Saza Coffee Co., Ltd. and Chiba University.

The “Panama Chiba Coffee” will be on sale at different regional shops of Chiba University, as well as online shop of Saza Coffee Co., Ltd.

At the beginning of the ceremony, Mr. Takeshi Tokuhisa, President of the University explained that this initiative represents the friendship and corporation between Chiba University and the Republic of Panama. He also expressed his appreciation to Mr. Yoshio Suzuki, Chairman of Saza Coffee Co., Ltd, who was invited to this ceremony, for his efforts to the “Panama Chiba Coffee” project.

After that, the Ambassador expressed his gratitude for the inivitation to this ceremony and also the continuous support of Chiba University for Academic Exchange between Panama University (UP) and Panama Technological University (UTP), to train Panamanian students and researchers in the innovative agricultural production called Plant Factory or Vertical Farming, utilizing controlled-environment agriculture technology.

During this ceremony, the participants were explained about the package design of “Panama Chiba Coffee”, which reflects the representative color of Panama, together with the introduction of Panama as well as the relationship between Chiba University and our country.

Furthermore, the professors and students from Panama University (UP) and Panama Technological University (UTP) also participated in this event, whom are in part of the Academic Exchange Program at this moment, of which has initiated since three years ago with support from the Embassy of Panama in Japan.

Mr. Takeshi Tokuhisa, President of Chiba University

Mr. Takeshi Tokuhisa, President of Chiba University

H.E. Ritter Diaz, the Ambassador of Panama to Japan

H.E. Ritter Diaz, the Ambassador of Panama to Japan

Mr. Yoshio Suzuki, Chairman of Saza Coffee Co., Ltd

Mr. Yoshio Suzuki, Chairman of Saza Coffee Co., Ltd

From the right, the Ambassador Diaz, President Tokuhisa and the Chairman Suzuki of  Saza Coffe Co., Ltd.

From the right, the Ambassador Diaz, President Tokuhisa and the Chairman Suzuki of Saza Coffe Co., Ltd.

Ambassador Diaz, President Tokuhisa, Chairman Suzuki, together with professors and students of UP, UTP and Chiba University

Ambassador Diaz, President Tokuhisa, Chairman Suzuki, together with professors and students of UP, UTP and Chiba University

Package of Panama Chiba Coffee

Taxation: Panama was removed from EU list

Tuesday, January 30th, 2018
Eight jurisdictions have been removed from the EU’s list of non-cooperative jurisdictions for tax purposes, following commitments made at a high political level to remedy EU concerns.

Barbados, Grenada, the Republic of Korea, Macao SAR, Mongolia, Panama, Tunisia and the United Arab Emirates are moved to a separate category of jurisdictions subject to close monitoring.

On 23 January 2018, the Council agreed that a delisting was justified in the light of an expert assessment of the commitments made by these jurisdictions to address deficiencies identified by the EU. In each case, the commitments were backed by letters signed at a high political level.

“Our listing process is already proving its worth”, said Vladislav Goranov, minister for finance of Bulgaria, which currently holds the Council presidency. “Jurisdictions around the world have worked hard to make commitments to reform their tax policies. Our aim is to promote good tax governance globally.”

The decision leaves 9 jurisdictions on the list of non-cooperative jurisdictions out of 17 announced initially on 5 December 2017. These are American Samoa, Bahrain, Guam, Marshall Islands, Namibia, Palau, Saint Lucia, Samoa and Trinidad and Tobago. The list also carries recommendations on steps to take to be de-listed.

The EU’s list is intended to promote good governance in taxation worldwide, maximising efforts to prevent tax avoidance, tax fraud and tax evasion. It was prepared during 2017 in parallel with the OECD global forum on transparency and exchange of information for tax purposes.

Whereas the list is to be revised at least once a year, the working group responsible for preparing it (the ‘code of conduct group’) can recommend an update at any time.

Jurisdictions that remain on the list are strongly encouraged to make the changes requested of them. Their tax legislation, policies and administrative practices result or may result in a loss of revenues for the EU’s member states. Pending such changes, the EU and the member states could apply defensive measures.

Today’s decision was taken without discussion at a meeting of the Economic and Financial Affairs Council, by means of an amendment to its December conclusions.

The 8 jurisdictions are moved from annex I of the conclusions (non-cooperative jurisdictions) to annex II (cooperation with respect to commitments taken).