A generally liberal trade regime; further reforms would help maintain growth

Panama maintains an essentially liberal trade and investment regime, characterized by relatively low tariffs and few non-tariff barriers, which is in consonance with the vital role that trade plays in Panama’s economy according to a WTO Secretariat report on the trade policies and practices of Panama.

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Panama's service-oriented economy acts as an international hub for activities such as maritime transport, distribution services, and banking. In contrast, the production of a number of agricultural and manufactured goods receives assistance through border protection and fiscal incentives, some contingent upon exportation.

According to the report, undertaking further reforms such as the rationalization of assistance programmes and the simplification of the trade regime, particularly the tariff structure, would help Panama to build on its comparative advantage as a supplier of international services, notably transportation through the Canal, and sustain the robust economic growth achieved in recent years.

The WTO report, along with a policy statement by the Government of Panama, will be the basis for the first TPR of Panama by the Trade Policy Review Body of the WTO on 17 and 19 September 2007.


> Full list of previous TPRs

The WTO report, along with a policy statement by the Government, will be the basis for the Trade Policy Review (TPR) by the Trade Policy Review Body of the WTO.

The following documents are available in MS Word format.


Note  back to top

Trade Policy Reviews are an exercise, mandated in the WTO agreements, in which member countries’ trade and related policies are examined and evaluated at regular intervals. Significant developments that may have an impact on the global trading system are also monitored. For each review, two documents are prepared: a policy statement by the government of the member under review, and a detailed report written independently by the WTO Secretariat. These two documents are then discussed by the WTO’s full membership in the Trade Policy Review Body (TPRB). These documents and the proceedings of the TPRB’s meetings are published shortly afterwards.

Print copies of previous TPR publications are available for sale from the WTO Secretariat, Centre William Rappard, 154 rue de Lausanne, 1211 Genève 21 and through the on-line bookshop.

The TPR publications are also available from our co-publisher Bernan Press, 4611-F Assembly Drive, Lanham, MD 20706-4391, United States.


Schedule of forthcoming reviews  back to top

Gabon/Cameroon: 1 and 3 October 2007
Peru: 17 and 19 October 2007
Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS): 5 and 7 November 2007

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