BERLIN – The German chancellor on Tuesday praised the advances in transparency made by Panama and expressed her confidence in reaching a bilateral agreement on fiscal and financial data transfer.
Angela Merkel spoke in Berlin alongside Panamanian President Juan Carlos Varela, who was in the German capital for talks centered around economics.
Panama has followed the right steps, Merkel said, adding that a bilateral agreement could be reached by the end of the year or early in 2017.
Varela highlighted the transparency of his country’s financial system and its fight against tax evasion and drug trafficking.
Merkel – in reference to the “Panama Papers” – said that it appeared the country had reacted quickly to the scandal and was disposed to work in accordance with the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) to subscribe to bilateral agreements with countries such as Germany.
The Panamanian president’s visit comes at a time when the country is trying to restore international confidence following the Panama Papers revelations, which exposed thousands of offshore companies operating in tax havens all over the world, under the command of Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca.
Varela hoped to gain Merkel’s support for his country’s removal from discriminatory tax lists, after France included it on a list of tax havens.
Following a stay in Berlin, the president is to travel to Hamburg and Munich to meet representatives of the business world.