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Ricardo Martinelli

Panama and Colombia are expected to sign a bilateral free trade agreement in Panama City today, finalizing a commitment that was reached by the two countries last June. Panamanian Minister of Commerce and Industry Ricardo Quijano and Colombian Minister of Commerce, Industry and Tourism Sergio Díaz-Granados will participate in the official treaty-signing ceremony.

Panamanian President Ricardo Martinelli signed a pledge on Tuesday stating that he will not seek reelection in the country’s 2014 presidential elections.

Panamanian President Ricardo Martinelli announced yesterday that he will hold a referendum in 2012 on a constitutional modification to reform the country’s electoral system.

The Office of the United States Trade Representative announced yesterday afternoon that the Obama administration has resolved outstanding issues with Panama and will submit the U.S.-Panama Trade Promotion Agreement to the U.S. Congress shortly.

Panamanian President Ricardo Martinelli, Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi and Spanish Deputy Premier Manuel Chaves held a ceremony yesterday in Panama City celebrating the expansion of the Panama Canal—a massive infrastructure project to be completed in 2014.

The streets of Panama are empty today as millions await the inauguration of Ricardo Martinelli, winner of the May 3 elections with approximately 60 percent of the popular vote.