Week in Review October 18

FULL SPEED

The Advisory Board of the Panama Canal, which renders its services ad honorem, recommended the overnight transit of neopanamax ships to generate more income for the country. The measures that were adopted for safety before the opening of the new locks are restrictions that must be reviewed, and removed to generate more income, said the administrator, Jorge Quijano.

CARGO RULES

Panama has never had a legal framework to regulate land cargo transport in the national territory, a fundamental component to distribute cargo arriving by sea and land and to position the country as a competitive and world-class logistics hub.

CHINA PLANS

Panama plans to sign 18 agreements with China as part of the diplomatic relationship that began with the Asian giant on June 12. One refers to “the most favored nation” that must be specified during the next trip of President Juan Carlos Varela to that country.

CHINA FTA

President Varela said that during his next trip to China a dozen agreements will be signed, including one in which both countries will express their intentions to negotiate a free trade agreement (FTA). “We are going to sign an intention to negotiate a free trade agreement … The trip has very specific objectives and I am optimistic that they will be fulfilled,” said the president.

NEXT 100 YEARS

The Panama Canal, its logistics, the maritime sector and the Panamanian economy represent a number of opportunities for the People’s Republic of China and are a priority of the agenda, said the vice president and chancellor of Panama, Isabel de Saint Malo de Alvarado. The vice-president spoke on the subject during the First Annual Maritime Conference of Panama, denominated “The Next 100 years” to which she indicated that the logistical object of the Canal has been handled on the agenda with China from day one.

CHINA SCEPTICS

Panamanian businessmen fear that the expectations of diplomatic and trade relations with China will remain only on paper, if Panama does not define a strategy as a country. Experts on trade issues and businesspeople point out the importance of defining what is actually sought in the relations with China and of presenting a concrete plan to the Asian country.

TURK CENTER

With fifteen days of operating in the Colon Free Zone, the company Turkey Ferre Panama International, Inc., was visited by a delegation of thirty businessmen from the Assembly of Exporters of Turkey (TIM) accompanied by its Vice President, Mustafa Cikrikcioglu, with the aim of exploring the implementation in Panama of a trade and distribution center for Latin American countries.

“GREEN CANAL”

The Panama Canal, a route that offers a “green connection”, has saved the emission of about 17 million tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) from being emitted in the 15 months of operation of the expanded canal.

ANOTHER STRIP

Studies indicate that in five years a third runway will be needed at the Tocumen International Airport to expedite the arrival and departure of planes. Tocumen, S.A., formally began the process to acquire the land it needs to continue with an ambitious expansion plan. The goal of the terminal’s management is to add some 800 hectares to the perimeter of the airport to build a third airstrip.

AIR LOGISTICS

The tender for the construction of the first stage of the new cargo logistics area of Tocumen International Airport, which will consolidate the country as a logistics hub in the region, will be made in January 2018 with an investment of approximately $12 million, said the manager of the Panamanian air terminal, Carlos Duboy. Duboy explained that the project comprises a logistics area and a duty free zone. It will be divided into three phases of construction on approximate area 45 to 50 hectares of land within the same airport.

AID HUB

The Bill creating the Regional Logistics Center for Humanitarian Assistance (CLRAH) which will be in Panama was presented in the National Assembly. The initiative will shorten the response times for cooperation between countries of the region in emergency situations and disasters of great magnitude was delivered by the Minister of Government, María Luiza Romero, before the full assembly.

CRUISING

A total of 235 cruise ships will cross the expanded Panama Canal during the 2017-2018 season, which began in October, the Panama Canal Authority (ACP) reported. The “Island Princess”, which will leave Los Angeles, was the first cruise ship to inaugurate the season on October 2, the ACP said. The largest cruise ship that will cross the canal this season will be the Norwegian Bliss, which has a capacity for 4,200 people and is still under construction. One of the first to arrive was the Regatta cruise of Oceania Cruise Line, calling at the port of Colón 2000. From October 2017 to April 2018, more than 300,000 tourists are expected.

INTERNET WAR

A Bill promoted by the Attorney General’s Office to adapt the Criminal Code to new criminal behavior derived from the use of computer systems, has unconstitutionality and violates freedom of expression, according to some spokesmen of guilds of journalists consulted. The Bill intends to protect information and criminalize conduct, explained an official.

BRIDGE BATTLE

With posters, videos, large scale models and even virtual reality lenses were presented by the companies that applied for the contract on the design and construction of the fourth bridge over the Panama Canal.

FIRE COST

The fire that occurred in July in the Colon Free Zone, which affected a warehouse block, generated claims for about $20 million from six insurers, confirmed the Superintendence of Insurance and Reinsurance.

AIR VALUE

The aviation industry in Panama generates $7.3 billion a year, of which $2.2 billion corresponds to the revenue of air transport and $5.1 billion to the expenses of foreign tourists arriving in the country by plane, reveals the study “Economic benefits of the air transport industry in Panama”.

PRESSURE

The Minister of Economy and Finance, Dulcidio De La Guardia, pointed out that “the classification of tax fraud as a crime and a crime of money laundering aims to comply with the international standard on this matter” and, sooner or later, “Panama must discuss the issue in order to reach a consensus.” His statements were given in the framework of the presentation of “Comparative Analysis of Tax Crimes in Panama and in other countries”, an event that brought together representatives from different sectors.

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