Panama was removed by Greece from a list of tax havens, according to the Central American government, which attributed the measure to the diplomatic efforts it has undertaken, including the recent creation of its own catalog of countries that discriminate against it with a view to applying reciprocity.
Panama published on March 9 its first list of countries that apply discriminatory or restrictive measures, which includes Greece along with 19 jurisdictions, as a "first step in the assessment of reciprocal actions" in immigration, tax and tariff.
An official source confirmed on Thursday to Acan-Efe that after the Greek decision, Panama will exclude that country from its list, which also includes Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, El Salvador, Peru, Uruguay, Venezuela, Croatia, Slovenia, Estonia, France, Lithuania, Poland, Portugal, Cameroon, Georgia, Russia and Serbia.
"As a result of the diplomatic actions coordinated through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, together with the Ministries of Economy and Finance and Trade and Industry, Panama was officially notified by the Hellenic Republic of its exclusion from the list of non-cooperating jurisdictions in tax matters," said a statement from the Foreign Ministry.
The statement specified that, according to the official Greek explanation, the government stopped considering Panama as "non-cooperative jurisdiction in tax matters" after the country ratified "the Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters", and was "excluded from the list of non-cooperative jurisdictions in tax matters issued by the Economic and Financial Affairs Council of the European Union".
"This announcement (Greek) comes days after the administration of President Juan Carlos Varela issued a list of 20 jurisdictions in Latin America, Europe and Asia, including Greece, that apply discriminatory or restrictive measures against Panama, as a first step to apply reciprocal measures," said the Foreign Ministry
Panama will continue " diplomatically working with the rest of the jurisdictions of Latin America, Europe and Asia to strengthen the bilateral relationship, and promote the necessary steps for the mutual exclusion of discriminatory lists in order to strengthen trade, economic and friendship ties that unite our peoples," said the statement from the Panamanian Foreign Ministry.
On March 15, the foreign ministers of Panama, Isabel De Saint Malo, and of Brazil, Alysio Nunes, talked to withdraw from each other's respective restrictive lists, in a bilateral meeting within the framework of the World Economic Forum for Latin America, held in Sao Paulo.
"For some years now, Brazil has Panama on a list of countries of tax havens, a list in which we should not be, because Panama meets the highest international standards in terms of tax transparency," De Saint Malo told Efe.
The issue of the Panamanian list would also have been addressed by the Trade Ministers of Colombia, María Lorena Gutiérrez, and of Panama, Augusto Arosemena, at a meeting in the Central American capital held on March 12. ACAN-EFE