Above: Panama President Ricardo Martinelli in Honduras (Photo: OP)
By the Caribbean Journal staff
Panama has fully joined the Central American Integration System, in a move the country hopes will improve its trade with the region.
SICA is Central America’s regional economic, cultural and political organization. While Panama had been a member of SICA, it had not previously participated in SICA’s integration subsystem.
“We are financially part of Central America, and this will make the exchange of goods and services in the region optimized to benefit the population,” Panama President Ricardo Martinelli said following the 39th Summit of SICA in Honduras.
As part of its incorporation, Panama joined the Comprehensive Association Agreement signed by Central America and the European Union last week.
The agreement, which was signed by Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama, has three pillars: political dialogue, cooperation and trade.