TRADE PACT CLOSE?
President Ricardo Martinelli said that later this month he could travel to the United States because he understands that the US will soon announce the ratification of the Trade Promotion Agreement (TPA). Martinelli said he was confident that it will achieve the necessary votes in Congress for ratification between the two countries and the respective coordination has already been made between the two governments.
PERU LOOKS AT C. AMERIVA
Peru and Central America held a “miniround” of negotiations for a free trade treaty that took place in Panama City, officials said. The “miniround” mode implies that for a week the Peruvian technical delegation met with one of the Central American countries bilaterally, starting with Costa Rica and ending with Panama, a Panamanian spokesman of the Ministry of Commerce, Javier Castillo, told the Efe news agency.
BARU FREE ZONE CHANGES
The National Assembly approved in third reading a draft repealing two articles of Law 29 of 2010 that created a special regime for the Baru Free Zone. One of the articles reformed was not to allow collective agreements by foreign companies until they had been established for six years, that had become an obstacle for the US Congress to ratify the trade promotion treaty (TPC) that has been stalled since 2007.
NO WORRY AT OIL PRICE
The variation in the price of a barrel of oil is something that so far is of no concern to the Panama Canal Authority (ACP). The Canal expansion project is the most important investment in Latin America, and Panama has secured the supply until 2014. Anticipating a rise in the price of crude, the ACP acquired in July 2010 over 70% of the fuel that will be required for the work, said Alberto Aleman Zubieta, administrator of the ACP.
AIR CARGO HUB FORECAST
Panama, which has positioned itself as the hub of passengers in the region, now aims to become the cargo hub in 2015, said the general manager of Tocumen International Airport, Juan Carlos Pino. This condition, according to Pino, would bring more businesses and more jobs to the country as well as new developments in the airport terminal, which would ensure the continued growth and improvements in infrastructure, technology and human resources.
METRO TO LA CHORRERA
The third line of the Panama Metro, from Albrook to La Chorrera, represents the biggest challenge from the point of view of engineering and construction, it must cross the Canal using a dual bridge or tunnel, said the executive secretary of the Metro, Robert Roy. Metro line 2 of Panama will be designed and tendered before the end of the period of the current government in 2014 for the new administration not to waste time and have the opportunity to continue with this project, said Roy.
HUGE ROAD INVESTMENT
In less than two years of the current administration, the Ministry of Public Works (MOP) has tendered for projects worth $3,500 million, it was stated by the Minister, Federico José Suárez. This number does not include projects such as the Metro, but is comparable to the contract design and implementation of the third set of locks of the Panama Canal, which will cost $3,118 million.
LOTTO FOR PANAMA?
Up to three million Panamanians can win with the new system of the National Charity Lottery (LNB), called the “Lotto”, which will cost two dollars. The lottery director, José Pablo Ramos, said this new system will come into effect after the project, which was approved in first debate, becomes a Law of the Republic.
WORK IN CASINOS
Full casinos and slot machine rooms generate about 5,421 direct jobs in Panama, said the executive secretary of the Gaming Control Board, of the Ministry of Economy and Finance, Giselle Brea, during an event called “LatAm Gaming Executive Summit 2011”.
The recovery of mining has been reactivated. In 2010, mining and quarrying contributed $286.8 million to the gross domestic product, 6% more than in 2009. The millions in profits generated by the business is the source of a debate between miners, environmentalists and society, questioning whether to undertake the activity with its benefits and risks given the weakness and inexperience of local regulators.
TAXIS WANT HELP
The installation of a negotiating table to discuss a fuel subsidy for taxi transport across the country ended between the National Transport Chamber of Panama (Canatra) and deputy director of the Transit and Land Transport Authority (ATTT), Roberto Moreno. Canatra and the ATTT will meet again to try and reach agreement on the subsidy and thus avoid burdening the user with the rising price of fuel, which costs almost $4.