Panama advances on free trade dialogue with European countries

Xinhua | 2009-12-21

Panama advances on free trade dialogue with European countries

PANAMA CITY, Dec. 20 (Xinhua) — Panama will negotiate a free trade agreement (FTA) with members of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA), Panaman’s Ministry of Commerce and Industries said on Sunday.

The EFTA Council announced it would offer a joint declaration on cooperation with Panama, which represented the first step to FTA negotiations, the ministry said.

Panama Minister of Commerce and Industries Roberto Henriquez said he would order Panamanian negotiators to start coordination and work out an agenda for negotiations.

Meanwhile, Vice Minister of International Trade Negotiations Francisco Alvarez de Soto expressed confidence in Panama’s capacity to do a deal that some nations had been pursuing with EFTA for years.

EFTA is a commercial bloc created in 1960 by Austria, Denmark, Britain, Norway, Portugal, Sweden and Switzerland as an alternative to the European Economic Community.

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source: Xinhua