Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Tests with ships to begin on new Panama Canal locks in mid-2015


PANAMA CITY (Reuters) - On Sunday, Panama Canal Administrator Jorge Quijano said the locks would likely be ready, holding water, by April or May of next year.
Photo by Juliette Passer


The 100-year-old canal, which is major global trade artery, is in the midst of a massive expansion that will allow the world's largest tankers to pass through the isthmus. 

Tests with ships will begin in mid-2015 on a new set of locks that are a key component of an expansion of the Panama Canal, the waterway's chief said on Sunday.

The expansion, which involves building a third set of locks onto the 50-mile (80-km) waterway, was originally scheduled to be completed this year, but has been delayed several times, in part due to a dispute earlier this year because of about $1.6 billion in cost overruns.
The deadline for completion is now January 2016.

"We hope to start a series of tests with the locks next year in the month of July or August," Quijano said after overseeing the arrival from Italy of a shipment of four new gates for the locks.

 

Thursday, July 17, 2014

PanAmCham’s “Doing Business in Panama” is published!




PanAmCham’s “Doing Business in Panama” is published with my introduction on Panama (I am also the Editor) - great team great product! Email me for your copy and visit with us soon.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

PanAmCHam Conference in Panama City, Panama

Greetings,

Updated information on our Conference is below - join us and gt an opportunity to meet some of the new members of Panama's government, who took offices on July 1, 2014. See you in sunny Panama!






Saturday, June 14, 2014

Greetings,

Panama AmCham (we are a member since 2007) is working on a conference in July. Would you or your clients be interested in attending - will email details? Would you forward it to others – with a copy to me, please? 


Many thanks and see you all in Panama soon!



Thursday, May 8, 2014

On Panama Elections from Investor's Business Daily



Panama's Election Seals A Strong 
Free Market Orientation 


Photo by Juliette Passer 2014
Defying polls, conservative Juan Carlos Varela won Panama's election Sunday, showing that five years of free-market policies merit another five. If he holds course, it's the best possible outcome.

Nobody thought the openly conservative Juan Carlos Varela could pull off a five-year term in Panama. The former vice president had been been running third in the polls and faced the negative headwinds of Ricardo Martinelli's five-year conservative rule. It especially didn't help that Panama's incumbent parties almost always do poorly in successive votes.

But Varela, who is believed to be at least as conservative as his predecessor, managed to distinguish himself from the status quo.

He did so by breaking with Martinelli in 2011 over the latter's ill-conceived plan to extend his own stay in office, compounded by a ridiculous and probably unconstitutional move to place his wife, Marta Linares, on the ticket of his hand-picked candidate, Jose Domingo Arias, as vice president.

Net effect: Varela was able to run as an anti-corruption outsider, a better thing for Panama to focus on than a populist referendum on free-market ideas that is often badly argued, despite Panama's 8.2% average growth rate over the past decade.

The left-wing candidate, former Panama City mayor Juan Carlos Navarro, garnered just 28% of the vote. Varela won with 39%.

It's a resounding vote for continuing the free-market policies that have opened Panama to the world with free trade, put the nation in the global trade spotlight with its multibillion-dollar expansion and ensured the country's economic shift from shipping to banking, services, medical tourism and new entrepreneurship. And it may just open the door to improving Panama's governance as well, if Varela is truly anti-corruption.

The election not only seals Panama's free market orientation, it also leaves Panama with two competing conservative parties, something similar to the Tea Party and the GOP, and certainly parallel to Colombia, where two center-right parties also dominate and compete.

But it's worth something only if Varela stays the course with what worked during Martinelli's administration.

Martinelli not only brought growth to Panama, he was also dazzling on the foreign-policy front, repeatedly showing leadership against the region's dictators in democratic clothing.
He was the first to break with the Latin consensus that Honduras be isolated after its legislature removed a communist dictator, Mel Zelaya, from power — and swung the region his way.
He also spectacularly exposed arms trafficking between Cuba and North Korea through the Panama Canal, via the power of a Twitter photo — which meant that the matter could not be covered up.

And when Venezuela exploded into an orgy of government thug-rule last February, Martinelli was the one Latin American president who blasted the barbarism and took in thousands of Venezuelan refugees fleeing the hellhole as the regime cut ties.