Panama welcomes the decision of the Council of Ministers of Economy and Finance of the European Union (ECOFIN), to remove the Republic of Panama from Annex II of the list of non-cooperative jurisdictions in fiscal matters.
The European Union included Panama in December 2017 in this discriminatory list, due to the lack of understanding of the country's tax regimes. In January 2018, after technical and diplomatic efforts, this regional block removed Panama from this classification, moving it to an observation or monitoring list, which recognized that the country was dedicated to completing the legislative reforms needed to adapt the preferential regimes considered pernicious.
The Republic of Panama, through the Ministries of Economy and Finance, Trade and Industry, and Foreign Affairs and the Presidency, worked hand in hand with national institutions such as the Panama-Pacifico Agency, the private sector, and actors involved in the modernization process and adaptation of the legislative framework that governs the Call Centers, the Multinational Companies Headquarters regime, the intellectual property of the City of Knowledge, and the Panama-Pacific special economic area. In addition to pernicious tax regimes, the European Union assessed Panama's progress in terms of transparency and tax cooperation, assessing aspects such as the adoption of the automatic exchange mechanism consistent with Common Reporting Standard objectives, promoted by the OECD Global Forum; adherence to the Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters, and the Inclusive Framework of the Project on the Erosion of Taxable Bases and the Transfer of Benefits (BEPS).
The Government of the Republic of Panama has undertaken a rigorous process of strengthening its financial platform and international services, within the framework of the High Level Commission for International and Financial Services (CANSIF), in which the public and private sector participate. Thus, the country has managed to adapt to global standards of fiscal equity, ensuring the country's competitiveness.
Panama will continue working hand in hand with the global community to ensure effective mechanisms of fiscal equity and international cooperation, as well as in the fight against money laundering and financing of illicit activities.