Isthmian Update August 19

Isthmian Update August 19: Panamanian extravaganza in Miami

Isthmian Update August 19. About fourteen national groups participated in the gala “Panameña Extravaganza 2016”, held in the Miami Cultural Center. The groups presented dances and music showing the folkloric and cultural wealth of the country in an event that paid tribute to the 497 years of the founding of Panama City.

Different strategy

The Agricultural Development Bank (BDA) has changed its banking strategy, for the financing of loans for projects in agriculture to enable it to recover investments faster and thus be able to benefit as many producers as possible, according to Ricardo Solis, General Manager of the BDA. As part of this strategy, the BDA will focus on giving loans to micro and small producers, to develop livestock projects, greenhouses and protected environments.

Alarm bells

The decline of container movement at the national ports in the first months of the year has alarmed the logistics sector which is seeking to implement the necessary mechanisms to increase the number of containers coming to the country. Lower operating costs, increase in business sales and fuel supply, reduction of red tape and greater port capacity are some alternatives presented.

The 100th transit

49 days after the inauguration of the expanded Panama Canal, the 100th transit took place with the Neo-Panamax ship, Hanjin Xiamen, of the South Korean shipping line, Hanjin Shipping. Transit was from the Pacific to the Atlantic, bound for New York, the ACP said in a statement.

No, without a visa

The situation on the border between Panama and Costa Rica continues to deteriorate due to the flow of Africans, Pakistanis and even Haitian migrants, who have reached the border area and want to continue to the United States. The authorities of Costa Rica announced that the migrant population remains misinformed, since it is not Costa Rica that prevents them from continuing to their destination, but Nicaragua, which has stated that only those who have a visa, as required by law, can enter its territory.

A better image

Panama is facing a reputational crisis due to claims that the country is used for money laundering and tax evasion. However those reports have not tarnished the Isthmus completely. Recently Panama was selected to host the XX Hemispheric Congress on Money Laundering Prevention which will bring together experts from 14 countries. The Panama Banking Association (ABP), said that the meeting will be inaugurated by the Attorney General, Kenya Porcell, and Panama’s Vice Minister of Finance, Eyda Varela Chinchilla, who will detail the steps which the government has taken to get Panama out of the Financial Action Task Force’s gray list of countries not cooperating against money laundering.

Retortion measures

Once the bill of the subrogated Law 58 of 2002, is approved by the National Assembly, Panama may apply a dividend tax of up to 40% to companies from the United States, which has been included in the list of nations taking discriminatory actions against the isthmus. Among other provisions the Panamanian government will have the power to request an entry visa or not grant work permits to citizens of these countries,

Business opportunities

New business opportunities were explored by Panamanian businessmen during the Third Meeting of the US-Panama Business Forum. Logistics, manufacturing, agriculture, consulting services, tourism, medical technology and construction are among the areas with the greatest potential for business opportunities identified by the participants of the business meeting.

Trade irritants

The president of the National Association of Foreign Trade of Colombia (Analdex), Javier Diaz Molina, asked a delegation of Panamanian businessmen to solve the “trade irritants” between the two countries. “We need the two countries to work together, the two governments to sit down at the table for a dialogue to end these trade irritants; if we do not, it will be the two countries’ private sectors which will be harmed,” Diaz said during a news conference in Bogota.

New businesses

Undoubtedly, one of the sectors that is still gaining strength is that of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME). This is because there are more and more entrepreneurs who have taken the step of starting their own businesses. However, many start with shortcomings because they are unaware of some parameters. For this reason, some companies have banded together to offer training to boost the business activities of MSMEs.

Logistic potential

The Minister of the Presidency, Alvaro Aleman, spoke to an American delegation on the benefits of the logistics “hub” of the country, which has been reinforced with the opening of the expanded Panama Canal. “The Panama Canal has created 1,000 hectares, which will allow a great logistics development. Not only will it be available for heavy, light and medium factories, but it will also be suitable for assembly and an important range of economic components that businesses should take advantage of,” he said at a meeting with the Chairman of the Board of the US-Panama Business Group (USPA), Gerardo Pelaez.

Isthmian Update August 19: Bloggers in Panama

More than 342,100 people follow the Spanish bloggers, Veronica Martinez and Jesus Martinez, who specialize in leisure travel through their portal Vero4Travel. The bloggers stayed in Panama for seven days and visited the Casco Antiguo, Cerro Ancon, Gamboa, Azuero and Bocas del Toro. The blog has an average of 60,000 visits per month and during their stay in the country, its writers created the “Guide to Travel to Panama”.

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