Week in Review – December 20

CLOSURES SPREAD

The difficult situation facing the Colon Free Zone is a matter of concern for the Colon Free Zone Users’ Association of the commercial emporium, since they indicate that now there is not only the closure of small companies, but also of large ones that generate hundreds of jobs. According to figures compiled by the Comptroller’s Office, there is a 10% drop in the commercial movement of the Free Zone registered up to last September, compared to the same period of the previous year.

PORT INTEREST

The Panama Maritime Authority (AMP) said that 40 companies are interested in building a cruise terminal in the Panamanian capital. that looks to be the most modern of the American Pacific coast. The project includes a “first-world” cruise ship dock, with a “home port” category and “the most modern and safe terminal on the American Pacific.”

EPSO SHIP

A Floating Production, Storage and Offloading (FPSO) vessel has joined the Panamanian merchant fleet, it was confirmed by the international registration. FPSP is used by the oil industry for the exploitation, storage and transfer of oil and natural gas production. This imposing vessel, named “FPSO PIONEIRO DE LIBRA”, with IMO number 9063067, has the following dimensions: 257.56 meters long and 42.50 meters wide, of 73,868 gross registered tons (TRB). It was originally built in 1995 as a Suezmax tanker, and is being fully modified to meet EPSO specifications.

FAIR SUCESSES

The Ministry of Commerce and Industries (MICI) estimates that more than $55 million was reached by about 145 companies after participating in the various international fairs during 2016, Foreign Trade Deputy Minister, Néstor González, said in a press release. “Not only were economic negotiations reached, but in the process there were successful outcomes for our exporters and also for the 566 number of contacts who managed to establish their physical presence in the fair events,” said the official.

BEST FOR AGE

Panama is considered the best country in Latin America to grow old in. This was revealed by the latest study of Help Age International, an international non-governmental organization that evaluates and qualifies countries based on how well their elders live. Panama was the best Latin American country in the ranking, since it has the appropriate living conditions for its older adult population, and therefore ranked No. 20, out of 97 countries evaluated.

LOOKING FORWARD

The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) presented the report “Latin America and the Caribbean in 2030: Future Scenarios”, which analyzes various scenarios for the Latin American region with 2030 on the horizon. The report, prepared by the Atlantic Council and the IDB, examines the opportunities for growth, inclusion, environment and innovation in the countries of the region and underlines the benefits of greater regional integration and digitization. “Countries that do not look to the future will not be able to get the necessary consensus to take the country in the necessary direction,” IDB President Luis Alberto Moreno said.

CHINESE PLATFORM

The offer of Panama as a platform for the distribution of Chinese products in Latin America is a possibility with potential for the Chinese private sector, it was acknowledged by the permanent representative of the Office of Chinese-Panamanian Trade Development, Wang Weihua. The official offered these statements on the occasion of a visit that a Chinese business delegation made to the headquarters of the Chamber of Commerce, Industries and Agriculture of Panama (CCIAP).

BANANAS RETURN

The Cabinet approved the conclusion of a law agreement that will allow a subsidiary of the multinational fruit company Del Monte to invest more than $100 million for banana production in the provinces of Chiriquí and Bocas del Toro. Banapiña de Panamá, S.A., is expected to generate more than 3,100 direct jobs and a consequent generation of 12,000 indirect jobs in commerce and services. The contract with this company will be for a term of not more than seven years in the districts of Barú and Alanje, in Chiriquí, as well as in the district of Chiriquí Grande, in Bocas del Toro.

EYEING THE FISH

Artisanal, industrial and sport fishing and commercial aquaculture in Panama will now report their production as part of the Action Plan for Sustainable Fisheries launched by the national government. The plan, a result of the National Dialogue for Fisheries developed by the Panama Aquatic Resources Authority (Arap) seeks to control more closely the products that are extracted from the sea in different sectors that to date did not have records.

CANAL OPPOSED

Police have used gas and rubber bullets on hundreds of small farmers in southern Nicaragua who are trying to reach the capital to oppose the construction of an interoceanic canal, said the movement’s leader.

METRO ADVANCE

Line 2 of the Panama Metro has advanced by27% The Cincuentenario station is the most advanced. Agustín Arias, director of the project, and Roberto Roy, director of the Panama Metro, affirmed that the construction of Line 2 of the Metro presents an advance of 27%. Arias and Roy made a presentation to the media about the progress of this mega work and the projections for 2017.

LAYOFFS SEEN

Possible dismissals are seen in Panama Ports Company, denounced lawyer Martín González, who said that this situation is registered with the support of officials of the Ministry of Labor. He said that the company have tried to force the notification from the trade unionist on him, although he communicated to the Personnel Office of the Ministry of Labor, he was not the legal representative.

AIRPORT FINANCE

The National Economic Council (CENA) approved nearly $6 million for Tocumen airport works including design, construction, drainage, lighting and signs, The CENA approved for Tocumen International Airport S.A. (AITSA) three addendum projects totaling $5,863,663 to be signed with companies and consortia for the design and construction of a runway, drainage platform, pavement reconstruction and taxiways at that air terminal.

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