Isthmian Update Some of the news in Panama

Selling off Sherman

According to the Martes Financiero supplement in the daily La Prensa, some 25 parcels of land located in the former Sherman base, on the Caribbean side, will be auctioned to tourism developers. The Reverted Areas Unit indicates that the auction notice will be given toward the end of the year.

$1,500 per night

Some 17 kilometers of white sand beach and turquoise waters in the Ngäbe Bugle area may be part of the luxurious Six Senses Resort, which will be available to the visitors who can pay $1,500 to stay one night at the resort. The project, valued at over $40 million, is being driven by the Costa Rican politician Antonio Alvarez Desanti. The project has not yet come to fruition.

Credit card use up

In Panama there were 673,590 credit cards active at the end of May, up 10.5% on the same period of 2012, when there were 609,357. So says a report from the Panamanian Credit Association (CPA), which further indicates that the active card balances also showed an increase of 17% compared to May 2012.

One bill to pay all

The Government proposes to require, by law, that the garbage collection bill be included in the electricity bill. This way, users will be more inclined to pay for their collection as they will not wish to have their lights turned off.

Economic growth

despite CFZ slowdown

Although Panama’s economy grew by 7% from January to March, the commercial activity decreased to 2.3%. The reason: the country’s economic slowdown included the slump in activity of the Colon Free Zone (CFZ).

Chile looks to Canal

Chilean President Sebastian Piñera told his Panamanian colleague, Ricardo Martinelli, the special interest of Chile in the expansion of the Panama Canal, which will increase domestic trade both to and from the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. After the two leaders geld a meeting at the Palace of the Herons in Panama, the Chilean Head of State stressed the importance of the work being done on the international waterway, as Chile is the main user of Latin America and the third in the world after the United States and China. In that sense, Piñera said that once the expansion work ends, the Canal will take the largest container ships currently in service, such that “Chile is preparing for enlargement, both to increased trade and so that these larger ships can arrive in Chile,” he said.

Incentives for

special zones

According to the weekly shipping newspaper The Bulletin, Panama is creating a series of free zones to attract technological, research, educational and logistical companies by offering them incentives. These include benefits such as income tax exemption for their operations outside the country, import rights as well as special immigration concessions, such as permanent resident investor visas and temporary resident permits for executives, technicians and experts for the duration of their contracts’ Currently the country has 14 free zones all around the country divided into private, governmental and mixed zones.

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