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Panama Moves Toward More Transparency After 'Papers' Scandal

Screen grab of website for the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, which reported on the Panama Papers, likely the biggest leak of inside information in history. Panama will adopt international tax reporting standards and participate in the automatic exchange of tax information by 2018, President Juan Carlos Varela told Japanese media on Tuesday,

Panamanian President Juan Carlos Varela says his country will adopt global tax reporting standards in the aftermath of the Panama Papers controversy.

"To prevent the illegal use of Panama's financial systems, we would like to cooperate with other countries to improve transparency," Valera told reporters Tuesday in Tokyo.

Members of the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) will visit Panama this week to negotiate ways Panama and other countries can automatically share tax information beginning in 2018. "We have the door open to do it in a multilateral way," Valera said.

Panama would join some 100 countries that have already agreed to automatically swapping tax information.

The Panamanian president told reporters his country will also establish a committee of domestic and foreign experts to promote transparency within Panama's financial system.

The actions are aimed at preventing another scandal similar to the "Panama Papers," which earned Panama a reputation as a tax haven and a place where money laundering was common among some of the world's wealthiest people. The scandal came to light when millions of documents were leaked from the Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca.