Wednesday, December 30, 2015

UPDATE: GUPC Announces Sill Reinforcements Work to be Complete in January 2016

UPDATE: GUPC Announces Sill Reinforcements Work to be Complete in January 2016

The Panama Canal Authority (ACP) has been informed by Grupo Unidos por el Canal, S.A. (GUPC), the main contractor for the design and construction of the Third Set of Locks project, that work to reinforce the sills in the new locks will be completed in January 2016.

GUPC informed the ACP of the deadline during a meeting Thursday, Nov. 28, to discuss the progress being made on the reinforcements work.

As part of its remaining work, GUPC will continue conducting in-depth inspections and reinforcements of each individual sill. Afterward, GUPC plans to continue the electromechanical testing on the filling and emptying systems of the new locks.

The ACP was also informed by GUPC that they have not yet identified a date for the completion of the new locks project. However, GUPC announced that they will implement a strategy, along with their providers and subcontractors, that will help reduce the impact on the delivery date.

The Panama Canal Expansion Program is currently 95 percent complete. The ACP continues to monitor GUPC’s progress and will communicate updates as more information is made available.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Panama's economy will remain strong

A forecast for the Panamanian economy remains positive and above the average for Latin America, and for 2016 a growth of 6.3% is projected.

Panama will lead the growth of America, despite a difficult global environment, characterized by the slowdown in China, the weak growth in Europe and the United States (USA), which has not yet recovered. However, the biggest challenge remains the country's fiscal deficit management.

Photo by Juliette Passer
Among the major projects have begun or will begin to be built starting next year figure: The construction of lines 2 and 3 of Metro de Panama, the fourth bridge over the Panama Canal, the draft Urban Renewal and construction of Columbus the Agua Fria-Yaviza highway in Darien Province.

The deputy director of Economic Analysis of the Ministry of Economy and Finance (MEF), Raul Moreira, said that "Panama will continue to grow in a sustainable manner," adding that "the numbers speak for themselves, so we cannot say we are living in a fairy tale".

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Work in Metro Line 2 start in July

After overcoming the hurdle of the challenge to the act of tender, the Panama Metro is contemplated that the road to the construction work of the second railway line that runs from San Miguelito to Nuevo Tocumen begin this coming July .

Marcia Arosemena , assistant manager of Metro de Panama , who acknowledged that there have been some delays due to the extension from three to five months of the deadline for submission of proposals is confident that the first works that involve the release of routes begin in a month .

Panama Metro Line 2 was awarded to the consortium  composed by the brazilian Odebrecht and Spanish FCC , the design and construction of the second line of modern subway is for 1.857 million dollars.

Photo from La Prensa

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Doing Business in Panama - Part III

Panama City, Picture by Juliette Passer

The Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT) between the governments of the United States and Panama was signed on October 27, 1982, entered into force in 1991 and was amended in 2001. The BIT with Panama was the first such treaty signed by the U.S. in the Western Hemisphere. The BIT ensured that, with some exceptions, U.S. investors receive fair, equitable, and nondiscriminatory treatment, and that both States abide by international law standards, such as for expropriation, compensation and free transfers.  

The Trade Promotion Agreement (TPA) between the United States and Panama was signed by both governments in 2007. Panama approved the TPA on July 11, 2007. President Obama signed the trade agreement with Panama on October 21, 2011. With the October 31, 2012 implementation of the TPA, the investor protection provisions in the TPA have supplanted those in the BIT. However, until October 30, 2022, investors may choose to invoke dispute settlement under the BIT for disputes that arose prior to entry into force of the TPA, or for disputes relating to investment agreements that were completed before the TPA entered into force.

The TPA protects U.S. investment and assists Panama in its efforts to develop its economy by creating conditions more favorable for U.S. private investment and thereby strengthening the development of its private sector. The TPA also includes sections on customs administration and trade facilitation, sanitary and phyto-sanitary measures, technical barriers to trade, government procurement, investment, telecommunications, electronic commerce, intellectual property rights, and labor and environmental protection. TPA also provides a new set of opportunities for U.S. businesses interested in investing or exporting to Panama.

Panama also has bilateral investment agreements with many other countries, such as the United Kingdom, France, Switzerland, Germany, Taiwan, Canada, Argentina, Spain, Chile, Uruguay, the Czech Republic, Netherlands, Cuba, Mexico, Dominican Republic, Korea, Ukraine, Sweden, Qatar, Finland, and Italy, while actively pursuing negotiations with other countries.

Picture by Juliette Passer

 In addition to domestic economic indicators, Panama received another boost of confidence from the global investment community with recently improved sovereign and country risk ratings.  In 2012, Moody’s raised Panama’s sovereign debt rating to Baa2 and improved their outlook for Panama from “stable” to “positive”. Panama’s sovereign debt is also rated as investment grade by Fitch (BBB rating) and Standard and Poor’s (BBB rating).

As detailed in this summary, Panama has made significant strides in integrating into the global economy, by leveraging its unique geographical position and turning into a trade and logistics hub. By strengthening and building institutions to ensure that the context for this growth and social development is a market economy designed to stimulate higher levels of efficiency and competitiveness, it has thus created room for private initiative to play a decisive role while consolidating its position as one of the fastest growing economies in the Region.