Isthmian Update Some of the news in Panama

Jose Domingo Arias

takes CD primary

The ruling party in the government, Cambio Democratico (CD), held its primary elections on Sunday. With 67% of the vote, Jose Domingo Arias won the party’s candidacy for the presidential elections in May 2014. Arias served as minister of housing in the Martinelli administration before running for president. For the Revolutionary Democratic Party (PRD), Juan Carlos Navarro, a former Panama City mayor, will run. Left is the Panameñista primary, from which it is expected that vice president Juan Carlos Varela will emerge victor of his party.

Logistics contribution

to GDP doubles

The logistics sector’s contribution to Panama’s gross domestic product (GDP) has doubled in 12 years, from 13.3% in 2000 to 24.1% in 2012, according to the economic chart of the Panamanian Association of Business Executives (APEDE), based on statistics from the Comptroller’s Office.

South Africa wins ISA

The ISA World Surfing games in Santa Catalina, Veraguas province concluded with the South African team winning the gold medal. They were followed by Australia, Peru and Brazil. Panama placed fifth, securing a spot in the 2014 ISA China Cup. Panamanian surfer Jean Carlos “Oli” Gonzalez won a silver medal.

New Cinta Costera

observation park

This week the “Pacific Observatory” opened on the Cinta Costera waterfront area near the fish market. The area offers walking paths, fountains and views to the Pacific Ocean, the modern city skyline and Casco Antiguo, a UNESCO world heritage site.

Giuliani in Panama

Rudolph “Rudy” Giuliani, the former mayor of New York City, was in Panama to inaugurate the International Tourism Security Fair held at ATLAPA Convention Center. In his keynote address ‘Building a secure society,’ Giuliani told attendees what he did to transform the face of New York City during his mayorship of the 1990s.

Drought measures relaxed

In order to use less electricity, last week the government ordered school closures and suspended the operating hours of businesses. In an effort to relax the measures taken to reduce electricity use, the government leaves only one measure in place: turning off air conditioners and lights in public and private sector offices from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Panama’s principal source of electricity is hydropower and lack of rains has rendered the plants inefficient for the needs of the country.

Labor market woes

In the midst of a major economic boom and falling unemployment, the Panamanian labor market experiences difficulties, the most significant being staff shortages for administrative positions. According to Erick Lopez, manager of Manpower for the Central American region, Panamanians in need are are secretaries, assistants, and administrative support staff; businessmen have a hard time finding them.

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