Isthmian Update Some of the news in Panama

New Marina for Amador

The Cabinet authorized the Ministry of Finance (MEF) to sign a contract for the leasing, investment and development of seven hectares in Amador to build a marina. The President and his ministers also endorsed the firm Serviamérica Corp., a lease and investment company, with the first option, of a site of 12 hectares in Rodman for a multimodal port.

IMF recommends a strict fiscal policy

Although Panama’s economy has strong foundations and it is expected to maintain a high growth this year, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) recommended to the Government, in its latest report , “a more restrictive fiscal policy” to mitigate internal and external risks. Among the events that could impact the Panamanian economy, the IMF highlights possible changes in world trade and financial conditions, the pressures of economic overheating and the risk of more significant delays in the expansion of the Panama Canal.

Three in one card

The entry into operation of the Metro in April opens the doors to another company for sale of the cards to be used for payment of fares. A surprise player was the company National Transportation Terminal of Albrook, owned by Mayor Alfredo Alemán, which started the sale of the “Rapi Pass” card from last week. The card that costs $2 covers payment of the fare on the Metro, Metrobus and services offered by the Terminal, such as the use of the bathrooms and payment to enter the country bus area.

Ice cream is back

Between the first and second weeks of March consumers will enjoy Estrella Azul ice cream again, it was announced by the operations manager, Frank Tedman. The company decided in December to stop production to make improvements to the plant. The product shortages caused panic in the social networks with rumors that the company stopped production due to bacteria and problems in the plants, which according to Tedman, is completely false.

Higher taxes for growth

The Central American countries must attain tax revenues equivalent to 20% of gross domestic product (GDP) to achieve reasonable economic growth, recommended the president of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), Luis Alberto Moreno. Moreno opened the XXVIII Assembly of Governors of Central America and the Dominican Republic at a beach hotel in Cocle, about 120 kilometers from the capital. In the case of Panama, 20% of GDP is about $8 billion, a figure that is above the $5 billion raised in 2013, according to the latest preliminary data of the National Revenue Authority.

More growth

Within five or six years the population will double, and once the redevelopment of the Panama Canal is finished, container movement will increase from seven to 11 or 15 million. In Tocumen International Airport, where currently four million passengers transit annually, it is estimated that the number of users will double. The isthmus is a country that has shown sustained growth, so the authorities must be prepared for these new challenges.

On line scientific information

The National Secretariat for Science, Technology and Innovation (Senacyt) launched the ABC platform, a portal with international scientific and technological literature which can be accessed free of charge by the Panamanian scientific community. The portal at www.abcpanama.org.pa offers 1,714 scientific journal titles indexed in Elsevier. Jaime Estrella, of Senacyt, said “it has facilitated access to current scientific literature to encourage Panama to enter the competitive world of science and promote social welfare.”

Uncollectible debt

The debt held by Venezuelan merchants with the Colon Free Zone businessmen could become uncollectible due to the intensification of the political situation in that country, which resulted in the temporary withdrawal of the ambassador of Panama in Venezuela. There is talk about billions of dollars owed by Venezuelan merchants to the Free Zone, who are desperate to enter other markets to offset this situation that has affected them for the past year and a half.

Luxurious carnival

The Tourism Authority of Panama (ATP) spared no expense on luxury and splendor for the celebration of Carnival in “Metro City” on the Coastal Strip. This is evidenced in over 20 direct contracts made by the ATP for the revelry that began Friday, February 28 with the crowning of carnival queen, Mary of Lourdes Gallimore.

Expocomer is back

With a mere 28 days to the inauguration of the XXXII version of Expocomer, the Chamber of Commerce, Industries and Agriculture of Panama reiterated that the exhibition will fulfill the expectations of 2014. This year the exhibition will run from March 26 to 29 at the ATLAPA Convention Center. The guild said in a statement that there will be companies participating from 30 countries in the Americas, the Caribbean, Europe and Asia.

Drink and driving

Beer and liquor companies joined the Panamanian government joined to start a campaign of annual prevention of road accidents on the eve of the Carnival celebrations. The campaign “Respect the road, respect life” involves the National Brewery, Baru Panama Brewery, Global Brands, the Ministry of Health, the Transit and Land Transport Authority (ATTT), the National Police Force and the National Traffic and Road Safety group (Contsevi). Since yesterday messages have been made through traditional media, social networks, activations in the streets and billboards.

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