Isthmian Update – Vol. 21#42

Legislation will increase house prices

The Supreme Court decision, that allows consumers to end property sale contracts for non-compliance on the part of housing promoters, could increase house prices and reduce investment in the sector, according to construction associations. They want amendments to the Law 45.

High hopes for Colón

More than 240,000 Colón citizens have high hopes in the mega project undertaken by the government of President Juan Carlos Varela.” It’s like waking up one morning and finding a whole new province”, is what hundreds of people said during the launch of the “Colón Renewal Project”, which will cost an estimated $500 million.

Real estate boom

Construction in the country remains a profitable business. Proof of this are the projects that are currently being developed in West, Central and East Panama. In August alone, the Municipality of Panama issued building permits for nearly $130 million in investment, 25% more than in 2014. The houses are located in the area of Central and West Panama, and are the most sought after by Panamanians. This was the trend found in the construction and real estate fair, CAPAC Expo Habitat 2015.

Hard work

Managing the budget well during Panama’s “strong growth” is the main challenge for the coming years, when the economy will remain the most dynamic of the region, with an average annual increase of 6%. This is the view of Augusto de la Torre, World Bank chief economist for Latin America and the Caribbean who said that this administration will need to depend on accurate sustainability for its own economic growth to continue.

Iron Fist Trump

Administrators of the huge luxury apartment building in Panama, under the Trump brand, were expelled months ago by the Donald Trump company, amid allegations of mismanagement, overspending and undisclosed bonuses that executives paid themselves.

Del Monte in Baru

Some 1,800 hectares of land may be acquired by the company “Del Monte” in the district of Baru, Chiriqui, on the grounds that were once exploited for the production of bananas. An agreement could be reached in a matter of months, said the mayor of the district, Franklin Valdés. The transnational company met with two groups (one thousand holders of title deeds), and offered to pay $7,500 per hectare as well as employ one member of each family. “On Friday, the company brought together two groups and offered to buy the land and revitalize the area’s economy,” he said.

Too much insecurity

Panama remains as the first country in Central America with the most competitive economy, and second in Latin America, according to the Global Competitiveness Index, but the excessive bureaucracy and weaknesses in justice, health and education and the high levels of insecurity have taken it down two places in the 144 countries competitiveness list made by the World Economic Forum.

Disaster risk reduction

Representatives of UN agencies and Panama, will have a meeting to develop partnerships between the public and private sectors for disaster risk reduction in the region. Participating in the meeting will be Latin American authorities, representatives of regional and subregional agencies, international organizations, private sector representatives and others to discuss, identify and analyze successful experiences from Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) in risk management

Maritime services affected by Canal expansion

The Canal expansion will impact on the entire maritime service platform provided in Panama, including the container transshipment business. The country’s geographical position and the Panama Canal are key for port development. According to some experts, the Canal expansion will strengthen the transshipment business in Panama, but other services may suffer.

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