Isthmian Update Some of the news in Panama

No Plan B for the ACP

The Zurich insurance company refuses to approve a “Plan B” devised by the Panama Canal Authority (ACP) that is intended to end a series of complaints filed by the Consortium Grupo Unidos por el Canal (GUPC), responsible for Canal expansion. According to a publication by the Spanish newspaper El Pais, the ACP “has met with resistance from Zurich” to carry out a “Plan B” for finishing the work without GUPC.

Reelection for Martinelli?

The Minister of the Presidency, Roberto Henriquez, confirmed the “idea” of president Ricardo Martinelli to “reform the Constitution”, to cut the period of re-election from 10 years to 5. “Chances are that he is going to do it” and it would be after the elections of May 4, said the manager of the CD Party.

Another wind farm for Panama

The Spanish construction company Fersa Toabré is to operate a wind farm in Panama, and the sale of energy is awarded for 15 years through a contract with the State Electricity Transmission Company (Etsa). The company informed the National Securities Commission (CNMV) – the Spanish market supervisor – that the construction of the park will begin in the second half of the year, with a first phase of 102 MW, later to be extended to 225 MW authorized in the contract.

ATP at the FITUR International Tourism Fair

With a display of Panamanian folklore and flavor, the flag of Panama was unfurled at the 33rd edition of the FITUR International Tourism Fair in Madrid, Spain, with the participation of around 20 tour operators of the country. The Deputy Minister of the Tourism Authority, Ernesto Orillac, said the mission they have is to show the best of Panama and the offers of businessmen attendees, giving them the opportunity to close deals with European operators.

Transgenic mosquito to eradicate dengue

The Gorgas Memorial Institute, with support from the Ministry of Health, has developed a pilot plan to counter dengue. The most important field test will take place in late February, with the release of 240,000 males of the transgenic mosquito in the community of Nuevo Chorrillo. Dr. Lorenzo Cáceres, an entomologist, explained the plan before hundreds of officers, paramedics and community leaders.

New meetings to assure signing of FTA between Panama and Mexico

The Deputy Minister of International Trade Negotiations of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Diana Salazar, said today that the next two meetings with Mexico will be “crucial” to the signing of a Free Trade Agreement (FTA). Salazar said that after the first three meetings, “we are not yet at a point where we say that there is an element of advancement and that we agree”, so it looks like in the next two meetings there will be a need to “give way” and to negotiate.

Panamanian economy grew 7.7%

According to the Monthly Index of Economic Activity (MIEA), in the period January to November 2013, Panama’s economy grew at a rate of 7.7%, compared to the same period of 2012. According to the report published by the Comptroller’s Office, all categories of economic activity showed positive changes.

More men quit their jobs before Carnival

Men lead the statistics that show more waivers annually in the Ministry of Labor (Mitradel). In 2013 a total of 43,842 men compared with women, totalling 41,998 quit. A few weeks before Carnival begins, is when waivers are submitted to the Mitradel with more men quitting their jobs to party for four days.

Minimum wage will impact on housing prices

The wage increase demanded by construction workers for the 2014-2017 would increase the cost of the payroll and would impact on housing prices. According to calculations and analysis of the business sector, the claim for additional benefits by workers and the real increase in wages, the payroll would rise by 90%.

Martinelli is the most popular president

Of all the presidents who have ruled the nation after the military dictatorship in the popular democratic era, the administration that has received greater acceptance of the public is that of President Ricardo Martinelli. The latest survey conducted by the company Datexco for The Panama America, KW Continente and Next TV revealed that 46% of respondents have a favorable image of the president.

Solar panels to save energy

Beyond contributing to the environment and saving energy, the use of solar panels could represent a monetary return in investment for businesses or residences of Panama. It was explained by Hiroki Kaji, president of Panasonic Latin America, that the region has the world’s most powerful solar radiation and has a fairly high cost of energy compared to other countries, so the savings could be greater.

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