FTA between Panama, Honduras takes effect

Business Materials 10 January 2009 06:43 (UTC +04:00)

The Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between Panama and Honduras took effect on Friday, which will facilitate the circulation of 80 percent of the goods between both countries, the Panamanian Ministry of Commerce and Industry (Mici) said, Xinhua reported.

According to Mici, the commercial agreement will allow the free circulation of goods, intensify the services sector and create opportunities for bilateral commercial exchanges, which totaled 165 million U.S. dollars.

The agreement was signed in June 2007 by Panamanian President Martin Torrijos and his Honduran counterpart Manuel Zelaya after one-year negotiations.

For the Panamanian production sector, the accord means preferential deals on the trade of 400 tons of bovine meat and 100 tons of pork meat in two years, as well as quotas on other products like milk and cheese.

Honduras is considered the third largest market of exports for the Panamanian products and one of the most important destinations of the re-exports in the Colon Free Zone, the main commercial center of the region.

Meanwhile, 17 percent of the Honduran exports are sent to Panama. Honduras' main investments and credits also come from Panamanian banking institutions, with a credit portfolio of over 236 million U.S. dollars.

In addition, the Panamanian financial and insurance institutions will extend their operation to the Honduran market, where there is a growing maritime industry that needs those services.