Monday, September 30, 2013

Panama Presidential Candidates 2014

Greetings from Panama,

As the primaries drew to a close in Panama, Panama Presidential Candidates 2014 are: 

Juan Carlos Varela,  (born December 12, 1963) of the Panameñista Party, the second-largest in Panama;

José Domingo Arias, (born on 26 October 1963) of the Cambio Democrático; and

Juan Carlos Navarro, (born October 19, 1961) of the Partido Revolucionario Democratico (PRD).

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Pacific Alliance (Alianza del Pacífico) is second largest user of the Panama Canal

Pacific Alliance, composed of Mexico, Peru, Chile and Colombia, is currently ranked as the second largest user of the Panama Canal.

"Separately, Chile is the third, followed by  Colombia as sixth, Peru is eighth and Mexico is ninth, but collectively they  are the seconds largest  user," said Mr. Arosemena in a forum on the prospects of joining  that group, organized by the Inter-American Development Bank (Banco Interamericano de Desarrollo).

       Photo by Juliette Passer, 2013

Recent figures from the Panama Canal Authority indicted that the main user of the Canal is the United States with 143.5 million tons and the second busiest is China with 52 million annually, but according to Mr. Arosemena, the Pacific Alliance, collectively, exceeds China.

"The Pacific Alliance is all about regional integration that is booming not only in Latin America but worldwide," said Arosemena.

The group emerged in April of 2011 in order to achieve trade integration agreements based on free exchange of goods between its members.

Currently, Costa Rica and Panama are observers and candidates to join after completing several processes, including trade pacts with each other.

Arosemena said that Costa Rica has already completed trade negotiations, while Panama has yet to sign with Colombia and just last week held the first round of negotiations with Mexico.

The Panamanian official indicated that for Panama it is important to join to provide an important platform for managing logistics for trade; besides the canal, citing the existence of a trans-isthmus railway communicating with dynamic ports on both coasts.