Mr. Aguilar was preceded by Amanda Barraza, Director of Tax and Legal Services at PriceWaterhouse Coopers (PWC) Panama, who provided a summary of the Services and Industries provisions of the agreement. Both gave an excellent insight on the status of the professional services in Panama, how it will look post-Free Trade Agreement (FTA), and the service market business opportunities with the United States.
The Agreement guarantees access to Panama’s $20.6 billion services market, including in priority areas such as financial, telecommunications, computer, distribution, express delivery, energy, environmental, and professional services. Mr. Aguilar pointed out that Panama’s strategic location as a major shipping route also enhances the importance of the TPA. The Agreement provides significant infrastructure opportunities. In addition to the ongoing $5.25 billion Panama Canal expansion project, the Government of Panama has identified almost $10 billion in other significant infrastructure projects.
The speakers mentioned that the TPA focuses more on the exchange of physical goods, and as such, will not have much effect on the professional services sector in Panama. Mr. Aguilar presented a market study of the US$3.1 trillion in services which the United States imports the most. The top-ranked services sought by the US were: computer data processing, research & development, and audiovisual services. These particular service areas have seen strong demand, and may present AMCHAM members an opportunity for market entry when expanding business to the United States.
Mr. Aguilar is a graduate of Universidad Santa Maria la Antigua (LLB) and Washington College of Law at The American University (LLM). Mr. Aguilar served as Secretary of International Relations of the Board of Directors of the Panama Bar Association, which allowed him to serve as one of the representatives of the Bar before the Panamanian government in the negotiations of the Services and Investment chapters of the TPA.
Those interested in attending similar future events can register on the AmCham website at: http://www.panamcham.com/
About The American Chamber of Commerce & Industry of Panama (AmCham Panama)
Founded in 1979, AMCHAM Panama http://www.panamcham.com is a non-profit, non-political, independent, voluntary association supported primarily by its members. Much of the organization's work is accomplished through the efforts of volunteer member committees which collaborate to help AMCHAM promote free enterprise in Panama. AmCham Panama has over 450 active members, from small local companies to major multinational companies based in the United States.
About Lombardi Aguilar Group
Lombardi Aguilar Group is a partnership of consultants created as an alternative for clients worldwide who seek fast, innovative and effective solutions to their legal problems. The firm currently provides services to individual and corporate clients in Panama as well in the Americas, Europe and Asia. Its partners maintain a commitment with professional ethics and social responsibility by participating in the board of directors of groups such as the Panama Bar Association, the Alliance Francaise, the German and the American Chambers of Commerce (AMCHAM) of Panama, and the Association of Chinese-Panamanian Professionals (APROCHIPA).
The firm centers its law practice in private client services and asset protection (Private Interest Foundations, Trusts), business structures (Offshore Corporations)
For more information, contact +507 340-6444, e-mail info (at) laglex.com, or see: Lombardi Aguilar Group http://www.laglawyers.com