Isthmian Update

Some of the news in Panama

EU nays Panama’s nationalist proposal on marine auxiliary services

The legal service department of the European Union is assessing the potential impact of Law 41, which restricts maritime auxiliary services, recently approved by the Government of Panama. Spain’s ambassador in Panama, Jesus Silva, said. That the European bloc would be requesting information from the Panamanian authorities to determine the extent of the law, which states that 75% of the shares of companies engaged in auxiliary maritime services for supply of fuel to ships, launch transport of supplies and personnel must be held by Panamanians.

Panama seizes grand majority of Central American cocaine

In the Central American region in recent years some 66 tons of cocaine have been seized, 89% of which have been in Panama, according to the report of the Organization of American States (OAS) issued on the International Day of the Fight Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking. Armando Philip, OAS representative, told News AM this is because the police are being more effective, and also that seizures have decreased in the region.

Electric integration drops power generation costs

The reduction in power generation costs of between 10% and 15% is one of the main benefits that the Central American countries and Panama will reach with the launch of the Electric Interconnection System for Central America (Siepac) and entry into force of the Regional Electricity Market (MER). The provision gives further support to deficit countries, such as recently happened with Panama, and higher quality power supply for the entire population. Whether lowered costs will reach consumers in Panama is a separate issue.

Spreading wealth through business development

In seeking to improve the sector’s contribution of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) in the generation of decent jobs, economic growth, better income distribution and reducing poverty levels worldwide, recently the First Ibero-American Forum of MSMEs was held, which involved about 300 entities, including MSMEs ministerial counterparts and representatives of business organizations from 20 countries of the region.

An Eiffel Tower for Panama

French businessmen were interested in building a replica of the famous Eiffel Tower, which would be placed at the Pacific entrance of the Panama Canal, said the Foreign Minister Fernando Nuñez Fábrega. Apparently the idea for the memorial was presented by President Ricardo Martinelli, commemorating the construction attempt of a French canal. This proposal is part of what remains in plans for the celebration of the 500th anniversary of the discovery of the Southern Sea [Pacific Ocean].

ID vests for motorcyclists

In reaction to the navigational habits of a significant number of motorcycle drivers, measures are being taken by the Traffic and Ground Transport Authority (ATTT). In a matter of two weeks, all motorcycle riders in the country must wear identification on vests and helmets. The head of the ATTT Roberto Moreno said the measure is due to the “intolerable conditions” that are occurring with drivers of motorcycles on the highways. With the new measure, “moto” riders will carry the compulsory, number plate of their bike on the back of their vest.

Panama Canal, the game

The Panama Canal Authority (ACP) launched “Canal Challenge,” the first online game from the waterway, which allows computer users to “navigate” the canal via social networks. The game is available by logging on to the link reto.micanaldepanama.com.

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