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Panama and Russia broaden cooperation in diverse areas

March 27, 2014, 20:27 UTC+3 MOSCOW

Russian air carriers and Panama’s national air carrier Copa Airlines are ready to arrange Moscow-Panama flights at any of its international airports

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© EPA/Alejandro Bolivar

MOSCOW, March 27. /ITAR-TASS/. Russia is an important participant in the world trade, and Panama is interested in Russian investments, Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Ambassador of Panama to Russia Gabriel Sosa Garcia de Paredes said at a business forum in Moscow.

“You can do business in our country absolutely free,” he said. “Panama is a platform for expanding entrepreneurship on the whole South American continent.”

The ambassador noted that the republic’s president had managed to make Panama one of the fastest-growing states in the world.

“You will find a perfect platform for investments here,” he added.

Garcia de Paredes told Itar-Tass earlier that Russia and Panama were currently in active negotiations about opening through air service.

Two Russian air carriers, Aeroflot and Transaero, were involved in the talks, he added, while Panama’s national air carrier Copa Airlines was ready to arrange Moscow-Panama flights at any of its three international airports. The ambassador expressed hope that direct flights would start in the second half of the year.

Garcia de Paredes noted that attracting Russian companies in spheres of strategic logistics and transport projects were one of his tasks as the head of the diplomatic mission in Russia. The major national projects like the expansion of the Panama Canal, construction of new roads and freight infrastructures were now underway, he said, adding that Russia’s potential participation would be in both countries’ best interests.

High technology was another field for promising cooperation. Since the major telecommunication lines go through Panama and its geographical position is of benefit for satellite telecommunications, Russia could participate in modernization and expansion of the infrastructure, Garcia de Paredes said.

Olmedo Alfaro, the manager of the Panama Pacific Agency (APP), a state-run agency that oversees the registration of companies in the area, also said Panama was interested in attracting Russian companies. He said most promising spheres for cooperation were logistics, energy engineering, entrepreneurship and high technologies.

“Russian companies will need to obtain only one permit to run a business in Panama, and they can open their offices at once,” Alfaro said. “If you decide to come here, we will not levy income taxes. And there is a tax exemption on imported raw materials. The only thing we ask is to employ Panamanian workers.”

“We really want to see Russian companies here,” Alfaro added.

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