Isthmian Update Some of the news in Panama

Mangroves lose protection

The National Environmental Authority (ANAM) reduced the boundaries of the mangrove protected area in Chame Bay, from 8,899 hectares to 6,774 hectares.

International companies pay best, hotel and restaurant

sector wages unimpressive

People who work in companies whose activities are international are those who earn more money in the Panamanian market, with an average salary of nearly $2,000. A labor market study conducted by KPMG, also revealed that the average wage in Panama is $541.50, and the economic activities that pay the least are hotels and restaurants ($485), agriculture, livestock and others ($228.3) and household activities ($203.8).

Bearer shares elimination bill gets through

Without fanfare and with little attention from the public, yesterday, the full National Assembly approved on second reading the bill that would allow the elimination of bearer shares. This is Bill 568, “which adopts a custody regime applicable to shares issued to the bearer” and puts Panama one step forward, as required by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) to stop the country being placed on its list of alleged tax havens. It is claimed that a discriminatory cataloging may stop the arrival of foreign investment and trade relations with the member countries of the OECD.

Mexican FTA negotiations underway

Through tomrorrow, Friday August 2 the country is partitipating in the first round of negotiations for a free trade agreement (FTA) with the United Mexican States. The Mexican team will be led by the Deputy Secretary of Economy of Mexico, Francisco Leopoldo De Rosenzweig Mendialdua. At present, the business relationship between the two countries is governed by a Partial Agreement.

Facilitated entry for Spaniards

Panama needs specialists in different sectors, so it has changed its immigration rules to facilitate the entry of Spanish citizens. Such was announced in Madrid by the Panamanian Foreign Minister, Fernando Nunez Fabrega. In an interview with the news agency Efe, the chancellor stressed that Panama, “with these changes, has the broadest immigration regime in Latin America”, which allows applicants to have “30 days to obtain a residence permit and work.”

Two more Causeway lanes go to bid

The Ministry of Public Works (MOP) began the process of bidding for the expansion to four lanes of the Amador Causeway. In the specification, published on the website PanamaCompra, MOP requested architectural studies, engineering design, construction, improvement and expansion of the road between the roundabout at the Monument to the Flag and the entrance to Flamenco Island.

CFZ’s grievance with Colombia makes its Geneva appearance

Users of the Colon Free Zone (CFZ) are waiting for conversations by representatives of Panama and Colombia at the headquarters of the World Trade Organization (WTO) in Geneva. “We hope that the two countries can reach an understanding, and that Colombia removes the tariff that has been imposed on footwear and textiles re-exported from ZLC,” explained Luis German Gómez Giraldo, president of the Colon Free Zone Users’ Association (AU).

Growth at 7.5%

The Panamanian economy grew by close to 7.5%, as projected in a report by the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC). The agency lowered the country’s growth forecast of 8% in April to 7. 5% in July, i.e., reduced it by half a percentage point. Despite this, the country will be second in regional growth surpassed only by Paraguay with 12.3% and followed by Peru with 5.9%. Panama also grows more than Chile (4.6%), Bolivia (5.5%), Nicaragua (5.5%), Colombia (4%), Argentina (3.5%) and Brazil (2.5%).

Genetically modified corn will be feed for Melo livestock

According to the daily Panama America, between August and September, some 25 producers will start growing genetically modified maize. Bienvenido Pereira, Manager of Product Line Protection of the Melo import company in charge of the genetically modified hercules type corn (GMO) said that the producers were selected as the acres where the grain is grown will be used for animal feed.

Canal transits down

The transit of vessels through the Panama Canal decelerated by 7.1% in the first quarter of this year compared to the same period of 2012. Economic indicators of the Comptroller’s Office reveal that toll revenue in the first quarter of 2013 was down $461,200, a decrease of 1.2%.

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