Panama sanctions a fiscal transparency law to get out of the gray lists

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Panama City, Nov 11 (EFE) .- The president of Panama, Laurentino Cortizo, sanctioned this Thursday a law on international fiscal transparency and prevention of money laundering, which includes “elements” to prevent the country from being included in lists discriminatory, the Government reported.

The law seeks to “adjust legal norms to international standards that improve the country’s qualification in terms of international fiscal transparency before the Global Forum of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD),” they explained from the Presidency.

And “elements” of the Action Plan of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) are added to “prevent Panama from being included in discriminatory lists.”

This law, which also includes matters on the financing of terrorism and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, contains eight articles and modifies five laws in order to “create conditions to” carry out transparent international transactions in the world and to attract foreign investment. ” .

The regulation, signed by Cortizo and the Minister of Economy and Finance, Héctor Alexander -proponent of this initiative before the National Assembly (Parliament) -, also repeals a law “that regulates the measures to know the client for resident agents of legal entities existing in accordance with the laws of the Republic of Panama ”.

The Central American country remains on the lists of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) and the European Union (EU) for deficiencies in the fight against money laundering.

Despite the fact that Panama has been working for years to improve its scaffolding in terms of fiscal transparency, it has not prevented it from being included in these discriminatory lists such as that of the European Union (EU) of non-cooperative countries in tax matters.

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This year, the Government presented before Parliament three bills that sought to strengthen the fight against money laundering and has reiterated its “commitment” to the EU to improve transparency.

With the latest journalistic investigation of the Pandora Papers, the Panamanian Government tried to curb the possible negative consequences on the country’s reputation, already damaged by the Panama Papers, a pioneering investigation of the ICIJ, which leaked, in April 2016, 11.5 millions of documents from the Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca, through which personalities from all over the world hired the services of that firm, now defunct, to create offshore companies allegedly to evade taxes.

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