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Panama, Mexico sign free trade pact
Panama, Mexico sign free trade agreement
Associated Press
2014-04-04 03:42 AM

PANAMA CITY, Panama (AP) -- The presidents of Panama and Mexico have signed a free trade agreement that should smooth the way for Mexican businesses to operate in the Central American country.

Panama's Ricardo Martinelli and Mexico's Enrique Pena Nieto signed the accord during a regional meeting of the World Economic Forum in Panama on Thursday.

Panama exported just $17.3 million in goods to Mexico last year, while Mexico sent about $1 billion to Panama and has about $2 billion worth of investments there.

Panama Commerce Minister Ricardo Quijano says the deal allows Panama to retain tariff protection on key agricultural products such as corn, potatoes and milk products.

The treaty still awaits ratification by legislatures in both countries.

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