Cuba’s Foreign Trade Minister, Rodrigo Malmierca, visited Panama on Sunday in a joint meeting. The meeting was welcomed by Panama. Panama’s CCIAP, a committee of the Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture met with Mr. Malmierca.
Miguel Antonio Pardo, Cuban Ambassador to Panama, announced on Monday that Mr. Malmierca is slated to have meetings through Tuesday with personalities and businessmen in Panama.
Panama and Cuba reinforced their relations last year following a visit to Cuba from Panama’s President Juan Carlos Varela. The visit in 2015 was part of a stimulus effort to jumpstart a commercial exchange between the two countries.
Officials in Panama and Cuba have stated that the cooperation between the two countries will be beneficial and generate opportunities.
Commercial operations between the two countries requires opportunities to expand and diversify in an effort to improve the juridical safety and environment of commercial opportunities.
Panama and Cuba trade primarily in non-original goods. Trades are made through the Free Area of Colon. The two countries aim to boost trade and their potential to increase exports among both countries, according to sources close to the matter.
The signed Protocol allowed for new tariff preferences of Panama goods in Cuba. The new tariff laws include 73 lines, with some items reaching 100%, including butter and palm oil. There is an 80 to 30 percent agreement for goods, such as toilet paper, t-shirts, fiber and other items.
Cuba’s embargo with the United States came to an end this year, allowing the country to extend trade with numerous countries. High debt levels in the country have been used by rich countries as a way to enter into the Cuban market. The United States and Cuba must learn and work together, according to a new report from Mr. Malmierca, which was released earlier in the month.