EFTA and Central American countries hold exploratory meeting under EFTA-Panama Joint Committee

Published 28-03-2011
Delegations from the EFTA States, Panama, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras met on 23 March 2011 for an exploratory meeting in Panama City.

The Panamanian delegation was headed by Mr Francisco Alvarez de Soto, Vice-Minister for International Trade Negotiations, who acted as spokesperson for the Central American countries, while Ambassador Norbert Frick from Liechtenstein acted as the EFTA spokesperson.

The parties explored the possibility of establishing closer trade relations between the two regions. In this context, they exchanged views on macroeconomic issues, their respective trade relations and policies as well as approaches to trade agreements. They concurred to discuss further steps in the near future.

Merchandise trade between the EFTA States and the five Central American countries reached USD 754 million in 2010. EFTA's top exports to Central America include machinery and mechanical appliances; pharmaceutical products; optical, medical and surgical instruments and mineral fuel/oils. EFTA imports mainly fruits and nuts; ships, boats and floating structures; coffee, tea, maté and spices from Central America; as well as precious stones and metals.

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