Canada-Panama Free Trade Agreement
Canada and Panama launched free trade negotiations in October 2008. Following several rounds of talks, including intersessional work, both countries announced on August 11, 2009, the conclusion of negotiations towards a free trade agreement (FTA), as well as agreements on labour cooperation and the environment (News Release: PM and President Ricardo Martinelli mark conclusion of Canada-Panama free trade negotiations). Elements covered by the FTA include: market access for goods, cross-border trade in services, telecommunications, investment, financial services and government procurement.
Canada currently has a Foreign Investment Protection and Promotion Agreement (FIPA) with Panama, which came into force in 1998. The FTA Chapter on Investment replaces the existing FIPA, further locking in and expanding access for Canadian investors and their investments.
The Canada-Panama Free Trade Agreement and parallel agreements on labour cooperation and the environment were signed on May 14, 2010 (News Release: Minister Van Loan signs Canada-Panama Free Trade Agreement).
Legislation to implement the three Agreements, Bill C-24 – the Canada-Panama Economic Growth and Prosperity Act, was tabled in the House of Commons on November 15, 2011. On December 14, 2012, The Canada-Panama Economic Growth and Prosperity Act received Royal Assent. On March 17, 2013, Minister Ablonczy announced that the Canada-Panama FTA will enter into force on April 1, 2013.
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