Panama, China Sign Accords on Xi Visit After Diplomatic Ties Start. : Weekly News Roundup, December 7th, 2018

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Panama, China Sign Accords on Xi Visit After Diplomatic Ties Start.

Panama and China on Monday signed 19 cooperation agreements on trade, infrastructure, banking, tourism and other areas on Chinese President Xi Jinping’s inaugural visit to the isthmus nation after the two countries opened diplomatic ties last year.

Xi arrived on Sunday night in Panama City for a 24-hour visit at a time when China is extending its influence in Central America, to the mounting chagrin of the United States, which has long viewed the region as its backyard.

After a private meeting, Xi and Panamanian President Juan Carlos Varela sealed the 19 accords, including one under which China will provide non-reimbursable aid to Panama to carry out various projects, though the amount was not disclosed.

Source: VOA News

Warm words from Xi Jinping for Panama on first state visit.

Chinese President Xi Jinping has landed in Panama for the first state visit by a Chinese leader to the small Central American nation, made possible when Panama switched its diplomatic ties from Taipei to Beijing last year.

Xi was welcomed by Panamanian President Juan Carlos Varela as he arrived in Tocumen international airport on Sunday 8pm local time.

According to China’s state broadcaster CCTV, Xi said Sino-Panama relations had made strong progress since the official establishment of diplomatic ties, with cooperation yielding successful results in various fields.

Source: South China Morning Post

On the trail of the sloth-eating eagles of Panama.

“It is mid-morning in Darién National Park, Panama, and I’m wilting in the rainforest heat. Three hours ago, with the ramshackle border town of Yaviza still asleep, we had boarded our motorized dugout and nudged out into the swift, dark current. Now the humid air hums with insects and sweat trickle down my back.”

Suddenly a flurry of wingbeats has us peering up into the canopy. And there she is: a female harpy eagle, perched high in the almendro tree, signature crest defiantly erect. A lifeless sloth dangles from meat-hook talons as large as a tiger’s. She’s an awesome sight: a fitting national bird for Panama. At her chick’s plaintive cheeps, she starts to tear at the unfortunate prey. Only now do I dare raise my camera.

Source: The Telegraph UK


New Panama Property Tax Withholding Law Goes into effect January, 2019

Panama’s Ministry of Finance issued a decree requiring real property lenders to withhold funds on mortgages to pay for the property tax. The new decree takes effect on January 1, 2019. In addition, another decree around the same time provides benefits to primary residences’ property tax.

Law 66 of 2017 lowered Panama property tax rates in general, which in all cases continue having a “Progressive Combined Tax” (see table below). The law also provided an exemption of the first US$120,000 of the property’s registered value if the property qualifies as “Tributary Family Patrimony” (TFP) or “Primary Residence” (PR).

For properties that qualify as TFP or PR, the property tax for values from US$120,001 to $250,000 pay a property tax rate of 0.5%. Properties values of $250,001 and above pay a 0.7% rate.

Source: POLS Blog


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