PANAMA IN SPOTLIGHT
Apart from the Summit of the Americas to be held in Panama in 2015, the country will host world class events in the next two years. The activities begin in June with the sixty-fourth annual meeting of the International Whaling Commission, involving 88 countries.
Geisha coffee beans harvested naturally in Panama broke world records when sold at 93.25 cents a pound. The historic price was reached by the coffee farm producer Ricardo Koiner and was paid by Horiguchi Saza Coffee and Coffee in Japan. “We are satisfied with the price obtained and the fact that there are more varieties and ways of processing the coffee,” said Koyner Kotowa Coffee.
“I want to hear the views of all Panamanians,” said the new US ambassador in Panama, Jonathan Farrar, after meeting with leaders of the opposition Panameñista Party at its headquarters on Avenida Cuba. Ambassador Farrar, who now has thirteen days in Panama, announced on his arrival at the Panameñista Party (the first group visited) that this is part of a tour that he will make to consult various forces in the country.
The administration of the Tocumen International Airport is proposing in the short term to adapt the facilities of the cargo terminal to make it compatible with modern materials handling equipment required by global trade. This situation arises due to the growth of tourism, trade and foreign investment and local business in Panama.
Ecuador reported that it disagrees with the proposal to increase from July 1 the Panama Canal tolls, a transit route that Ecuador’s exports go through to market in the EU and the US east coast. The hearing on the proposed toll hike has been held as part of the process to amend the tolls of the waterway. During the hearing, interested parties submitted their views on the proposed amendment, which will apply to some segments of vessels from July 1, 2012.
The tunneling machine “Marta”, 9.77 meters in diameter and 110 feet long is working 25 meters underground opening the tunnel through which the Metro trains will pass within 22 months. They have dug a tunnel 700 meters long and with more than 350 rings placed around the opening since January, when operations began on the south trench in Albrook. Currently, the project recorded an increase of 30% in the general work, said Roberto Roy, Executive Secretary of the Panama Metro.
Panamanian exporters took advantage of the announcement by Maersk Line of an increase of 30% on Latin American route rates to request the authorities incentives to boost the shipment of local products abroad. Agricultural, fishing and manufacturing exports are the most depressed of Panamanian exports and need help in the logistics chain, said Juan Planells, president of the Exporters Association.
US COMPANY WATCH
The US Treasury Department identified last year, six Panamanian corporations associated with the program of nuclear proliferation in Iran and placed them on a blacklist known as the “Clinton” list. The companies were created in Panama by the law firm Veleiro, Mihalitsianos & De la Espriella (VM&E) and their boards were composed of workers from the same firm.