Prime Minister David Thompson

Barbados is looking forward to the strengthening of ties with Panama, and the signing of a Double Taxation Agreement between the two Organisation of American States member countries will give impetus to those relations.

Prime Minister David Thompson told this to the visiting Vice President of Panama, Juan Carlos Varela, who is also his country’s Foreign Minister, during talks today at Ilaro Court.

Mr. Thompson alluded to the historic links between the two countries, dating back to the construction of the Panama Canal during the early 1900s, when many Barbadians had emigrated there to assist with its construction.

Stressing that they should explore the possibility of air links between the two countries to boost their tourism industries and international business, he told the Vice President that such a prospect would augur well for the further development of those sectors. "Regular flights out of Panama to Barbados and the region would enhance our relations, particularly with the modern trend of multi-destination tourism," Mr. Thompson opined.

Vice President Varela said Panama was also looking at similar areas of business activity and other destinations in the Caribbean and South America, and he expressed the hope that a Free Trade Agreement with CARICOM would materialise in the near future. "This would benefit both sides," he observed.

Remarking that his country’s economy was performing relatively well, given the current worldwide recession, Mr. Varela stressed the importance of foreign investments and noted that bilateral relations and reciprocal agreements were essential at this time.

Deputy Prime Minister, Freundel Stuart, and acting Foreign Minister, Christopher Sinckler, attended today’s meeting.

Later in the day, Vice President Varela and this country’s Minister of International Business and International Transport, George Hutson, initialled the Barbados/Panama Convention for the Avoidance of Double Taxation and the Prevention of Fiscal Evasion with respect to taxes on income. That signing ceremony took place at the Hilton Barbados.


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