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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).

Visit of H.E. Natsuo Yamaguchi, President of New Komeito Party to Panama

Sunday, September 4th, 2016

From August 30 to September 1, 2016, H.E. Natsuo Yamaguchi, President of New Komeito Party, the principal partner of the ruling coalition of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, paid an official visit to Panama, accompanied by H.E. Ritter N. Diaz, Ambassador of the Republic of Panama in Japan.

This visit has started with an inspection tour to the new Cocoli locks of Canal zone, as well as current Miraflores locks, where he had an opportunity to operate the system of one of the locks from control tower.

He also paid a courtesy visit to H.E. Roberto Roy, Minister of Canal Affairs and the CEO of Metro of Panama, to know the progress of the Line-3 Project of Panama, which is financed by the Government of Japan.

After the visit of Minister Roy, President Yamaguchi transferred to the National Assembly, where was greeted by Mr. Rubén De León, President of the National Assembly. Later on, President De León, with the presence of President Yamaguchi, had handed to Ambassador of Japan in Panama the list of the Diet members of Panama-Japan Inter-Parliamentary League Panama chapter, with the object of strengthening political as well as legislative relationship between Parliaments of both countries.

Immediately after the visit to the National Assembly, the Diet member of the Panamanian Parliament offered a lunch in honor of President Yamaguchi.

The visit continued with a visit to H.E. Luis Miguel Hincapié, Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs, aiming to exchange opinions about bilateral matters and interests of both countries, where the Vice-Minister took the opportunity to inform to President Yamaguchi regarding the progress of Panama fiscal transparency, in accordance with the regulations of Organization for Economic Corporation and Development (OECD).

President Yamaguchi concluded his visit and tour with a courtesy visit to H.E. President of the Republic of Panama, Juan Carlos Varela, where President Yamaguchi delivered a letter from Prime Minister of Japan, Shinzo Abe, to President Varela. President Varela expressed his gratitude to this visit, the financial corporation of Japan for Line-3 project of Panama, and also the sign of Tax Information Exchange Agreement between both countries.

Visit to the Miraflores locks

Visit to the Miraflores locks

Visit to the new locks of Cocoli

Visit to the new locks of Cocoli

Visit to the new locks of Cocoli

Visit to the new locks of Cocoli

Meeting with Minister Roy

Meeting with Minister Roy

Visit to the President of the National Assembly

Visit to the President of the National Assembly

Visit to the President of the National Assembly

Visit to the President of the National Assembly

With Presidents of the National Assembly and Foreign Relations Commission, Mr. Rubén De León, Mr. Noriel Salerno, and other members of Panamanian parliamentary group

With Presidents of the National Assembly and Foreign Relations Commission, Mr. Rubén De León, Mr. Noriel Salerno, and other members of Panamanian parliamentary group

Lunch with Diet members and the Panamanian parliamentary group

Lunch with Diet members and the Panamanian parliamentary group

Meeting with Vice-Minister Hincapié at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Meeting with Vice-Minister Hincapié at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Courtesy visit to President Varela

Courtesy visit to President Varela

Courtesy visit of The International Friendship Exchange Council

Tuesday, September 15th, 2015

On September 9th, 2015, His Excellency Ritter N. Diaz, Ambassador of Panama to Japan, received a courtesy visit of Mr. Hiroyuki Yushita, Senior Managing Director of the International Friendship Exchange Council (FEC) on the occasion of the appointment of Ambassador Díaz as a new honorary member of the said organization.

At the beginning of the meeting, Mr. Yushita appreciated to Ambassador Díaz accepting being honorary member of FEC, which will contribute to strengthen the cooperative relationships such as education, trading and other missions between Japan and Panama.

Ambassador Díaz also expressed his appreciation for FEC of their consideration to appoint him as an honorary member, mentioning his fully contribution with FEC aiming to make known the different aspects of Panamanian culture toward member of the organization.

Ambassador Díaz took this opportunity to explain different topics of his diplomatic agenda, which include strength the maritime relationship between Panama and Japan, promotion of the Japanese technology in agricultural matter and mass transportation, mentioning that Japanese technology is recognized as a prestigious technology all over the world.

The meeting finalized with an exchange of views about the possibility of holding a presentation to FEC member given by Ambassador Díaz related to updated news of Panama Canal extension project.

International Friendship Exchange Council (FEC) is a non-profit organization, aiming to deepen understanding and friendship at international level. The principal activities are promoting exchanges between Japan and other countries, facilitate the understanding of Government’s policies and also provide international business strategies to the affiliates of the organization. More than 100 Ambassadors are affiliated as honorary members of the organization.

From right to left, His Excellency Ritter N. Diaz, Ambassador of Panama to Japan, Mr. Hiroyuki Yushita, Senior Managing Director of the International Friendship Exchange Council (FEC)
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From right to left, His Excellency Ritter N. Diaz, Ambassador of Panama to Japan, Mr. Hiroyuki Yushita, Senior Managing Director of the International Friendship Exchange Council (FEC)