Panama’s President Defends His Country’s Financial Institutions

By Franco Ordoñez

Panama’s President Juan C. Varela says Panama Papers reveal global problems and calls for international sharing of tax information during the COA and State Department annual Washington Conference. 

Panamanian President Juan Carlos Varela defended his country’s financial reputation and reiterated Panama’s commitment to greater transparency Tuesday in the wake of the leak of millions of documents that show ties between world leaders and a Panamanian law firm that specializes in setting up shell corporations.

Speaking at the 46th annual Washington Conference on the Americas, an event hosted by the Council for the Americas at the U.S. State Department, Varela said the leaks, known as the Panama Papers, revealed a global problem, and he called on world leaders to work together to increase transparency and share more tax information.

“Many countries’ . . . legal and financial structures are still vulnerable of being used for purposes that do not represent the common good,” Varela said. Still, he added, “Panama held its head up high and continued our irreversible course toward reform and transparency.”...

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