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Entrepreneurs propose to strengthen prevention actions.
The president of the Association of Users of the Colon free Zone (AUZLC), Daniel Rojas, described as regrettable and premature the decision of the European Commission to include Panama in the list of risk countries for supposedly not containing money laundering and terrorist financing.
According to Rojas, there is no doubt that inclusion in this list will have negative effects on the image of the country and the largest free zone in the western hemisphere; Worse still, the current low trade movement will worsen.
Given this situation, the AU president urged the Central Government and the ZLC administration to continue complying with the companies’ “due diligence” processes.
“Work hard to strengthen the preventive tools of illegal trade, vigilant of the regulations and their application; so that it can be argued that companies within the free zone are companies of reliable origin, “he stressed.
Additionally, Rojas suggested strengthening communication with these commercial entities, so that they see the effort made by the country and its business sector.
Daniel Rojas expressed that there is a clear intention to harm the image of Panama; In addition, the European body does not follow up on the progress made in this area, “to propose a position of this nature, you must first know the progress the country has made in the last two years.”
The AU president recalled that Panama had entered the first blacklist in December 2017, created as a result of scandals such as the “Panama papers”, but in January 2018 it left after committing to correct its legislation and, in March 2019, the EU removed the country from all its lists of non-cooperative jurisdictions after confirming that it had respected such commitments.
The Users Association is willing to accompany the government in doing what is necessary to get out of that swampy image that insists on maintaining the country, and we will continue to be critical of situations that do nothing to contribute to our growth, as a key element of trade. international throughout the hemisphere that we serve with great pride.
Rojas reiterated that the rating that is weighing on Panama as a result of the misnamed “Panama Papers” is still lousy and wrong and it is up to the Government to go out into the world to change that bad “perception”.