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The WTO is working to resolve as soon as possible the dispute between Panama and Colombia

The director general of the World Trade Organization (WTO), Roberto Azevedo, acknowledged today that the tariff dispute between Panama and Colombia is long due to its "complexity", but Encouraged both countries to rely on the international body's resolution mechanism.

Panama, Aug 2 (EFE) .- The director general of the World Trade Organization (WTO), Roberto Azevedo, acknowledged today that the tariff dispute between Panama and Colombia is long due to its "Complexity," but encouraged both countries to rely on the international body's resolution mechanism.

"We are very clear that every day that passes is an economic loss for the Two sides and we are trying to minimize this problem (...) We are working to make the solution come as quickly as possible, "said Acevedo in the Panamanian capital, where he participated in a

The tariff conflict between the two countries began in 2012, when Colombia began to apply tariffs of 10% to footwear and textiles and a charge of $ 5 for each container from the Panamanian Free Zone of Colon (ZLC), the continent's largest free trade zone.

Panama went to the WTO to claim the country's measure And in June 2016 the body ruled in its favor, although the Central American country continues to denounce that Colombia did not comply with the ruling and continues imposing restrictions on the importation of

"There are two panels of experts who are examining this situation to determine whether the Colombian measures are effectively sufficient and whether they are adequate or No ", explained Azevedo, in charge since 2013.

The WTO Dispute Settlement Body on June 19, at the request of Panama, established a second panel of experts to To determine Colombia's compliance with the ruling.

At the same time, there is a third panel of arbitration on the same case, since Panama, considering that Colombia had not The Guatemalan government appealed to the WTO to impose trade sanctions on Colombia for US $ 210 million in reprisal.

The Andean country used the amount of Sanctions requested, which automatically triggered a WTO arbitration panel.

"The positive side is that we have a mechanism that has worked and has issued bugs and solved Controversial, sensitive and I hope this is the case in the dispute between Panama and Colombia, "said the director.

Since the creation of the WTO in 1995, he added Azevedo, the agency has resolved 500 trade disputes.

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