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Panama highlights progress to get off the list of countries with deficiencies in the fight against money laundering

The Government of Panama assured yesterday that the country is progressing in financial and fiscal transparency.

It is referring, in particular, to the progress in 11 of the 15 points stipulated in the Action Plan established to get off the list of countries with deficiencies in the fight against money laundering of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).

The Panamanian Minister of Economy and Finance, Héctor Alexander, referred to the subject when presenting before the plenary of the National Assembly of Deputies an institutional report corresponding to the year 2022, by the provisions of an article of the Panamanian Constitution.

Panama City. (Photo internet reproduction)
Panama City. (Photo internet reproduction)

According to the report, Panama is making progress, improving the country’s financial image, and trying to get off the FATF gray list and reaffirm the country’s responsibility.

The head of Panama’s Superintendence of Non-Financial Subjects, Dayra Carrizo, indicated last October the expectation of Panama’s exit from the FATF list by 2023 since they have made sufficiently convincing progress.

According to a press release from the Ministry of Economy and Finance, the country is raising its ratings and getting closer to its exit from the FATF gray list.

According to the information, other points highlighted by the minister are the consolidation of economic fundamentals through public and private investment and the reduction of unemployment from 18.5 percent in October 2020 to 9.9 percent in April 2022, with a vital component of formal employment.

Furthermore, according to the Ministry of Economy and Finance (MEF), employment performance is expected to continue, as well as the strengthening of public finances, with a strategy to gradually reduce fiscal deficit levels and, thus, the debt ratio to Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

The MEF also highlighted that Panama continues to lead economic growth in the region -in Latin America- and the estimates of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank (WB), and the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) for the year 2023, estimated at 4.2 percent.

The Panamanian government also highlighted that the country maintained its investment grade, according to the main rating agencies.

In the case of Fitch Ratings, it reaffirmed Panama’s sovereign rating at BBB, changing the outlook from negative to stable.

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