Week in Review July 25

BETTER BORDER

The authorities of Panama and Costa Rica signed an agreement, which must be ratified by the parliaments of each country to streamline procedures, services and the movement of cargo through Customs on their border crossings. The National Director of Customs of Panama, Jose Gomez, said that the agreement sets a deadline of 60 days to be submitted to the parliaments of each country for ratification. The implementation of the Integrated Control System covers the border crossings of Paso Canoas, Rio Sereno and Sixaola.

TOCUMEN GROWS

Tocumen S.A. tendered and awarded, in the past 19 months, works for the amount of $70 million and it plans to award contracts for a similar amount to expand and improve existing infrastructure. If the administration had followed in the footsteps of the past airport management, 99% of the contracted work made in the terminal would have been by direct contracts and into the hands of the Brazilian company Norberto Odebrecht.

PERMANENT “PERMITS”

The United States Treasury Department could continually renew the license of its Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) that has extended to Grupo Editorial El Siglo and La Estrella (GESE) the permit to do business with companies and citizens of that country, said the Minister of Economy and Finance (MEF), Dulcidio De La Guardia.

EYE ON U.S.

Edison Lanza, Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression of the Organization of American States (OAS) and the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (CIDH), are on alert in view of the situation facing El Siglo and La Estrella de Panama for inclusion on the Clinton List. “Whenever there is a possibility that daily newspapers disappear, it is threatening freedom of expression,” he said.

DISCONNECT

Panama fell to 55th in the 2016 Connectivity Index (Networked Readiness Index) published by the World Economic Forum. This ranking evaluates the factors, policies and institutions that allow a country to take full advantage of information and communications technology to increase competitiveness and welfare. Among the countries in the region, Panama would be in fourth place, behind Chile (38), Uruguay (43) and Costa Rica (44).

FLEET RENEWAL

A total of 1,236 Metrobuses will renew transportation services in the districts of San Miguelito and the capital, which will be another huge investment faced by the State. This time, the amount will be more than $37 million for the Metrobuses to provide better service to 500,000 users who travel on this system daily. At present they have invested $60,000 on two metrobuses as part of a pilot plan by Mi Bus. These buses were installed with information screens, new internal lighting and adapted ramps for disabled people.

FIGHTING RETURN

The defense lawyers of former President Ricardo Martinelli are trying to stop the extradition request against him. To this end, Rogelio Cruz, one of the lawyers of Martinelli, submitted to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MIRE) a warning of unconstitutionality of Article 545 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CPP), applicable to the administrative procedure for active extradition following Martinelli, who is also a legislator to the Central American Parliament. Considering that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs “is only a conduit for managing an extradition request” and does not “fulfill any legal process,” the Foreign Ministry rejected two appeals filed by the defense of Martinelli to stop his extradition and avoid him appearing before the Supreme Court (CSJ).

EXPORT SLUMP

Panama, which has the best port infrastructure in Latin America, accompanied by a canal, does not take this opportunity to increase exports of agricultural products, which have been in decline. This is one of the concerns of the logistics sector, whose experts say the country must not only sell logistics services, but also increase agricultural production, either for export or to meet the needs of ships transiting the Canal.

EXPORT HELP

Fifteen Panamanian companies were selected to participate in a workshop to improve trade with the European Union and promote exports of their goods and services. The EaKO Bootcamp program, which has already been launched in other countries in the region, such as Guatemala, Nicaragua and Costa Rica, is aimed at both large, medium and small enterprises and is driven by the European Union (EU) and the Secretariat of Central American Economic Integration (SIECA).

EXPORT HOPE

The Ministry of Commerce and Industry (MCI) is prepared for the National Export Congress to be held from September 14 to 16. This activity aims to expand trade relations, facilitate business meetings and generate knowledge in this area. This was announced by the Deputy Minister of Foreign Trade, Nestor Gonzalez, who said that the event will be held at the Sheraton Hotel, in conjunction with the Panamanian Export Association (APEX).

YOUTH WORK

The Private Sector Council for Educational Assistance (COSPAE) handed the deputy of the National Assembly, Ivan Picota, a Bill that seeks to promote sustainable youth employment. The initiative, which promotes inclusive work for young people between the ages of 16 and 29, is for education and relevant training according to the needs of the formal labor market and the reduction of informal employment.

One Comment

  1. Mike Castillo says:

    More employment opportunities for the young.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *