Panama City, (May 15, 2016)- As part of President Varela’s administration ongoing commitment to financial transparency, a delegation of government officials from Panama will travel to Paris this week to meet with members of the OECD to discuss various issues related to financial transparency. The visit follows an official communication from Panama to the Global Forum of the OECD stating that starting in 2018, the Government would begin implementing the Common Reporting Standard through bilateral agreements.

In a letter to the OECD, Vice President Isabel the Saint Malo pointed out that recent events had shown the world the vulnerabilities of the global financial system and that according to the expectations of the international community, Panama would advance in the implementation of automatic exchange of information. Panama will work with the OECD on a framework based on the realities of the country and the region. Panama is currently negotiating such bilateral agreements with countries including Japan, Germany, and Singapore, which expand on existing commitments of a similar nature with other relevant partners.“

Panama considers the implementation of CRS through reciprocal bilateral agreements appropriate because it will allow the country to safeguard information and privacy with greater certainty and greater efficiency. Panama has already made a commitment to start negotiations with Japan, Singapore and Germany, which expand on commitments of a similar nature with other relevant partners.

The delegation will also discuss the second phase of Panama’s peer review process by the Global Forum of the OECD, as well as a framework for the Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) project, to allow countries and jurisdictions to work together to fight tax avoidance. The BEPS Project helps governments close the loopholes in international rules that cause profit to be artificially shifted between countries.