PANAMA A MAGNET
The service sector remains the magnet for foreign investment in Panama. A delegation of over 12 entrepreneurs of South America came in search of new business. Latin America knows the importance of the Panama Canal and so many people and corporations are interested in coming to the country to leverage its expansion, said the Minister of Commerce and Industry, Ricardo Quijano,.
The president of Guatemala, Otto Perez Molina, said that Panama’s business class can make a “huge contribution” to the Central American region by sharing their experience, after recognizing the economic development in the country.
Industry leaders of Latin America discussed in Panama City how to be more competitive, improve logistics platforms and get more people to benefit from this activity. The president of the American Manufacturers’ Association (AILA), Henry Kronfle, called on both the public and private sectors to generate agreements that transcend the current administrations. Sustainable competitiveness will eventually be equal, but this does not remain just an abstract concept. Kronfle was one of the speakers at the World Business Forum organized by the AILA, the Union of Industrialists of Panama (SIP) and other regional associations.
As part of the institutional policy of maritime training leading to more strategic and important hubs and companies in the country, a team of experts from the Panama International Maritime University (UMIP) is offering a Diploma in Fuel Terminal Operations to employees of the company Petroterminal of Panama, S. A.
CANADA TAX SWAP
The government will negotiate an agreement to exchange tax information (TIEA) with Canada. This was announced by the Minister of Economy and Finance, Frank De Lima, who recalled that both governments have had discussions about it since 2009. With the negotiation of this tax exchange with Canada, Panama would add to the 13 agreements signed (12 treaties to avoid double taxation and a TIEA). The country has completed negotiations with Belgium, the Czech Republic and Israel and held talks with other countries such as Germany, Hungary, Bahrain and Switzerland, among others.
BIG ROAD BUDGET
The Minister of Public Works, Federico Suarez, revealed that his ministry is performing throughout the country 4,000 projects valued at $500 million.
The plan for relieving traffic congestion in the capital is in its final stages, said the general manager of the Transit and Land Transport Authority (ATTT), Juan Pablo Mora, who is participating in the interagency committee studying measures on this issue.
CFZ LAND SALE
The Minister of Commerce and Industry, Ricardo Quijano, said that the draft law which seeks to sell the land of the Colon Free Zone will be consulted. In the National Budget of 2012 from the sale of assets, the government will receive $400 million. This is four times more than planned a year ago. In this concept, by 2012, the administration of Ricardo Martinelli includes $100 million from the sale of the lands of the Colon Free Zone, although this operation is far from being realized.
BID FOR STAIRS
Companies have from one to two months who wish to participate in the tender for the design and construction of stairs and elevators of the 13 stations of the Metro Line One. Roberto Roy, executive secretary of the Metro, reported that they will publish a statement of requirements on PanamaCompra to begin the process of the bidding price.
BOLIVIA TRADE SURPLUS
Bolivia achieved a trade surplus of $244 million with Panama over six years (2005-2011), according to a report released by the private Bolivian Foreign Trade Institute (IBCE). The detailed report data shows that Bolivia exported $280 million in products to Panama and imported $36 million in the same period, 2005-2011, the government agency said.
The standard certification ISO 26000 CSR was presented by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry and coupled to the rules governing industry in Panama. The guide-COPANIT DGNTI ISO 26000 is a basis for companies and the public sector to be certified under the State guarantee on social responsibility practices.
Spending on advertising by businesses and government entities on promotion increased by 7.7% in 2011 compared to 2010. The cost was around $200 million, estimated by Ibope Media, a Brazilian company specializing in media and marketing research in Latin America with a presence in Panama.
WORKERS LEFT OUT
Company workers of Speed Jewelers (now defunct) complained to the Attorney General about former prosecutor Rosendo Miranda for the alleged commission of embezzlement after the disappearance of goods seized from the jewelry store. Victor Martinez, a lawyer for the former employees said the former prosecutor never provided an official report on such property, seized in 2000. Miranda, meanwhile, said the property went to court orders in New York.
CAR SALES DOWN
Car sales across the country, which began in 2011 with an uptrend, were down 9% in February compared with the same month of 2010. The companies sold 3,342 cars, 477 less than in February 2010.
The Fitch Ratings rating agency said that Panama has to strengthen the credibility of fiscal policy. The agency was referring to the public investment plan of the government to meet deficit targets and the establishment of a sovereign fund as some of the challenges to improve credibility.
PORT WORKERS FIGHT ON
The struggle of former workers of the ports of Balboa and Cristobal continues. This time it came up in the National Assembly presenting their case and concerns before the Labor Committee.
CORRIDOR SALE DUE
As of May, 2012, the sale of the Northern Corridor, for about $650 million to be paid to the Mexican company, Proyectos y Construcciones SA (PYCSA) should be completed, a process that was approved by the National Economic Council (CENA), but not yet by the Cabinet.