Without doubt the first line of the Metro System has a significant impact in the lives of thousands of Panamanians and is even generating new tendencies in economic matter.
The success of this new public transportation system depends on its capacity to develop a network that satisfice the demand for Fast and efficient transportation as done around mayor urban cities in the World.
Since operations began in the Metro System as of April 6th – there have been 30 million passengers accounting for $6.5 Million considering that the fee is Only 0.35 cents – very far from the “technical cost” which would be Around $1.25
According to officials there are around 200,000 passenger per day using the Metro Line 1
Metro Lines 2 and 3 will be built with a capacity of 40,000 passenger per hour which will require a total of 21 trains with intervals of 3min
The 21km metro line will count with 16 stations
Wonder where will the stations be? where to invest?
contact us here.
The Authority of Tourism of Panama decided to make the whole month of November a “BLACK FRIDAY MONTH”
The Panamanian Chamber of Commerce in Alliance with the Panamanian Chamber of Tourism with the support of the Authority of Tourism of Panama presented a promotion strategy to increase the number of visitors during the whole month of November.
During the month of November there will be special offers in malls, Hotels, tour operators, car rentals, restaurants, casinos,Banks, theaters, amongst many other services.
The Minister of Tourism, Jesus Sierra – said “Lets remember that many people from South America and central America come to Panama for Shopping because of special airfare and hotel rates”
The role of the State is to facilitate the clusters and the role of the private sector is to invest.
According to the World Economic Forum – Panama is ranked #7 amongst 144 countries in the category of best quality of port infrastructure, Only surpassed by Singapour, Belgium amongst a few others.
Another interesting data is in the category of Judicial Independence - Panama is ranked #116 of 144 countries
The project was supposed to be done for November 2014, but because of issues with the later contractors the Expansion is now scheduled to be delivered by the end of 2015. A total of 4.3 million cubic meteres of concrete is required for the Panama Canal Expansion
The project is around 80% done and has given over 30,000 job opportunities since 2007. In times of most demand there were up to 14,000 people working on the proyect.
Important question: What will happen with all these workers once the expansion of the Panamal Canal is done?
Heres a short video recapping our visits and involvement in the Biz-Fit 2014, Expo-Logisitics 2014, and as Coordinators of the International Committee of the Expo-Inmobiliaria 2015
We had the opportunity to cover the inauguration of the Ferry Xpress Colon - Bocas del Toro route.
This ferry will bring people, fuel, construction materials, food and more to the island... having a direct impact on the islands economy.
The boat has a capacity of 1,320 people and 500 cars (or containers)
Will be travelling between Cartagen Colombia, Colon-Panama, and Bocas del Toro- Panama.
We also took some time to check out some beautiful property available for sale in front of a Beach on Isla Colon.
If you want to know more about Bocas del Toro you can contact us through our social platform ----
AES (an international energy company) and the country of Panama decided to build a hydro plant near the town of Gualaca. Gualaca is a small community about 30 minutes from Boquete on a newly paved road. As the project progressed, Sam Taliaferro visited the engineers and even had a chance to go deep inside the tunnels where the generators are located before the reservoir was filled. They had to build a large earthen dam and then cover it with concrete which formed a lake about 750 acres in size with two small rivers, a 14 kilometer tunnel from Fortuna dam, and a canal coming from the Chiriqui river as water sources. Together these water sources bring a great deal of flow to the reservoir each day. So much that the water level of the lake changes less than one meter. Before filling the reservoir, AES engineers cut every tree and removed any other objects that could potentially cause damage to the generators if they were to work their way into the tunnel. When all was ready the lake took only a few weeks to fill, even though the depth of the water was over 130 feet deep near the dam and near the shore it drops off rapidly from 40 to 80 feet.
Sam began negotiating with AES about that time to buy a farm that would give access to the water. Although AES had several projects in Panama, they had not sold any property around any of them and this was a new concept that required lot of approvals through out the organization. They had bought out all the small cattle farms that would make contact with the water. There were a total of about 7 farms and most were large and encompassed a lot of water below the water surface which of course was not usable for our intent. It took about three years of negotiation, but Sam eventually was able to purchase about 5 hectares of property that has about 850 meters of lake frontage, good road access and electricity.
His first efforts were put into making a boat ramp. He was fortunate that there was on old farm road that went into the water at an easy angle, perfect for his needs. Within a few days of work with a backhoe, he was able to put his bass boat into the water for his first day of fishing. The lake has an abundant Sabalo population. Sabalo are a cross between and bass and a trout and give a nice fight. He plans to bring small mouth bass, blue gill and a variety of other fish that should thrive in this environment.
The lake then, became a water sports recreational haven - jet skis, hobby cats, kayaks, canoes, fishing, swimming, wakeboarding, water skiing, and more... are among what people have done in the hidden lake of Chiriqui...
Contact us here if you are an interested investor - for more information regarding Lago Escondido click here!
Valle Escondido Residential Resort Community began construction in 2001 and was the first residential project of its kind in Panama. It is widely acclaimed as one of the finest residential communities in Central America and has been featured in a number of international publications and TV programs including Forbes and HGTV House Hunters. One of the many advantages of living in a resort community is the number and quality of the amenities available to homeowners and resort guests alike. Although residential communities can have great amenities such as golf, tennis, pools, fitness, club house etc., the monthly fees needed to provide and maintain them would be prohibitive without a resort operation to absorb much of the costs.
Although the pace of growth has declined, the Panamanian economy remains the most dynamic in the entire continent.
On average, the projections from diferent sources suggest that in 2014 and 2015 the expansion of gross domestic product (GDP) will be of 7%, well above the average of 1.2% this year in Latin America, according to the World Bank.
The Ministry of Economic Affairs and Competitiveness said yesterday that the second quarter GDP showed a 6.3% increase from the same period of 2013, after reporting a total of $8,657.4 million.
All sectors increased their value in that semester, except for hotels and restaurants; the supply of electricity, gas and water and the agricultural sector.
The fastest growing sector was construction (15.5%), followed by transport and communications (7.7%) and trade (3.3%). All of which are extreamly important for the economy.
For the Executive Secretary of the Secretariat, Michelangelo Esbrí, these figures show that the Panamanian economy "is alive, it is thriving and is not stagnant."
He also stated that foreign direct investment (FDI) in the first half was for $2,575.4 million, 26% more than the previous year. This is a quite surprising figure, and hopefully it will continue to grow as more incentives are provided to foreighn investment.
Yesterday Panama and Colombia come to a middle ground and were given 1 year for the purpose of negotiating an agreement to avoid the issue with double taxation, which can include provisions for sharing financial information from both countries. With a memorandum of understanding between governments settled, issues from the bilateral trade agendas will come to agreements.
The big issue for Panama was the classification as Tax Heaven by the Colombian government and was added to their grey list. After this meeting, President Juan Manuel Santos signed a decree that stipulated the exclusion of Panama from this list, which was a requirement imposed by the Panamanian government to negotiate a tax deal on equal terms and without coercion.
The Vice President of Panama Isabel Saint Malo stated that with these measures of discrimination being removed, they had agreed to an agenda of conversations to fight the money laundering and the financing of terrorism and to stop double taxation. We were signing the decree through which we will remove Panama from the list of tax havens, after they sign a memorandum of understanding where they commit to a date by which to negotiate a deal," President Juan Manuel Santos said.
On the exchange of tax information from the accounts of Colombians in Panama, which is the primary objective of the neighboring country, Saint-Malo said “we are of the opinion that it is in the best interest of our country to explore the feasibility of an agreement to avoid double taxation which guarantees the users of our platform that services will be preserved and Colombian investment is encouraged in our country. "
The withdrawal of Panama from the list of tax havens of Colombia sent a couple of messages to the rest of the world, first, respect for our tax system; second, that Panama will claim the space for dialogue to evaluate alternatives; and third, that we are not willing to negotiate under pressure or to the race. "
For its part, the Government of Colombia said in a statement that the memorandum of understanding is the basis for negotiating a double taxation agreement and will include a clause of financial reporting standards of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).
Colombia also referred to the agreement to cooperate on money laundering through the Unit of Financial Information and Analysis (FIAU, equivalent of the Financial Analysis Unit) and cooperation with international organizations. "This agreement reinforces that we seek and have established with all neighbors, to cooperate on all issues," said Colombian Foreign Minister.
"It's what we wanted from the start," Santos said. "It's good news for everyone."
With this being settled for now, we can move on knowing that Panama’s reputation is still protected and that even though some countries from around the world want to consider Panama as a tax heaven, it will continue to be what it is and regulations will take place in due time.
The Panama Balboa Port is home to the PPC (Panama Ports Company), which is part of a huge conglomerate named Hutchinson Whampoa, based out of Hong-Kong. This company is ready for a great investment in expansion and renewal of its port and equipment said to take place in 2015, with a budget of $110,000,000.00 Dollars.
Aitor Ibarreche, Hutchison Whampoa's CEO made this announcement and said the investment will boost its capacity by 11% up to 5M TEU ( twenty-foot equivalent unit) by adding loading and unloading spaces. Also the Pacific Port's crane zone with now be wired and using electricity instead of burning fuel, a great plus for saving on the long run.
There is no doubt that this investment and expansion is designed so that the port can be ready for the new locks of the Canal expansion. This project is said to be delivered by early 2016, and so will this expansion. Since the Balboa Port is #45 largest in the world, also Panama's 2nd largest one, it makes sense to improve and justify such an investment.
Heres a short video of us visiting the Expo-CAPAC and Expo-Tourism Panama 2014...
We were able to make many business contacts and got an updated feeling of how many projects are under construction... The Expo-Tourism could have been better, we were expecting a little bit more of it since Panama has so much to offer in the tourism sector...
We will keep you all posted with the upcoming events:
Business Forum 2014
Business Forum 2014, a unique event to learn about new trends of business in Latin America and the world, but especially for business.
Event under the organization of Chamber of Business, Strong Marketing and Full Media Group, which will feature renowned local and international figures to discuss current issues in business, giving them tools to overcome barriers, meet needs and acquire knowledge for you and your organization.
Within the range of topics and speakers, analysts, commentators and individuals recognized for developing good business, financial business related topics, banking, tourism, services, construction-investment, industry, agriculture, technology, logistics and other related issues will be discussed for the purpose of discussing real issues focused on the implementation of each business.
The dynamics will be established under the figure of a forum, in order to encourage good communication and interaction with the panel and participants.
Do not miss this opportunity where apart from acquiring knowledge and business models, have the opportunity to interact with exhibitors, analysts and business experts. In order to make direct inquiries regarding your business and even to expose their business in minutes, with a view to attract new prospects and organize a business agenda.
For more information: https://www.camaradenegocios.com/es/business-forum-2014
By: The Visitor
On Tuesday, September 30, one of the most remarkable landmarks in Panama -the Biomuseum located on the Amador Causeway- had its official inauguration ceremony. The cocktail gala doubled as a fundraiser and was attended by the country’s elite. As of today, October 2, the museum will be open to the public.
Designed by Frank O. Gehry, named the most important architect of our times by Vanity Fair magazine, its colored roofs and irregular silhouette are intended to be a representation of the natural forces that form the world. Landscape artist Edwina von Gal, and renowned artist, Richard Serra, designed the two hectare botanical park that will surround the main buildings.
The Biomuseum tells the story of Panama’s biological diversity and its importance in the earth’s history. Three million years ago, when the Isthmus of Panama was formed, the course of the world was changed dramatically. The division of the oceans and the ecosystems that consequently appeared due to the ‘Panama effect’ created the important Gulf current, which altered the climate in Africa where early humans had to adapt. Adjusting their lifestyle was crucial for survival, and the most significant change was that mothers carried their young on their backs, giving them the opportunity to develop their brains 50 percent more, an evolution which gradually gave way to Homo Sapiens. Thus, Dr. Steven Stanley, author of “Sons of the Ice Age”, concludes that “we are all Panamanians.”
The Museum will have eight permanent galleries each of which will tell a story that combines art and science to explain scientific concepts.
The Biomuseum is open every day except Tuesdays. For hours and admission costs, visit Biomuseopanama.org or call 830-6700.
Heres a short video we made of the inauguration of the Panama Bio-Museum - Hope you enjoy!
Many travelers who are avid runners are in the habit of maintaining their training and racing schedules even while on vacation. Many plan their trips around a race in a foreign country and see it as a great way to get to know the place they are visiting. On Sunday, September 28, the “2nd International Marathon of the Americas” shone a bright spotlight on Panama as a destination for fans of the sport. Over 500 racers took part in the race. Amongst the runners we were there participating in the 10km.
We actually ran 15km that day, because we (amognst many others) took a wrong turn and made our route longer. We plan to participate and be active with the coming running events! We will keep you posted!
Heres a cool video running from Boquete to David - tried to do 42km - made 35km.
Contract for Line 2 of the Panama Metro System
The contract of Metro Line 2 could become the most substantial “turnkey” project signed by the Government of Panama at a cost, estimated to be around $2 Billion.
In the specification of the tender, the Secretariat of the Panama Metro is asking companies to submit a financing option that will be evaluated between economic criteria to determine which will be awarded the work.
Once the winning proposal is unveiled, the Ministry of Finance will decide on the option of the contractor, or obtain resources by other means.
Deputy Economy Minister Ivan Zarak recalled the legacy commitments-this level of government will face $3.6 Billion in services contracted by Martinelli and said that "we can not put everything in the next four years."
The payments could be extended for eight years.
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How can the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) grow 6.2% in a country where construction workers paralyzed most of the ongoing projects, including the expansion of the Panama Canal; a nation where the crisis endures in the Colon Free Zone (CFZ), due to a great debt of Venezuela to companies operating in the Free Zone, totaling USD 1,7 Billion; and where hotel occupancy is at its lowest point (67% in 2010 and 53% in June 2014)?
How can Panama be the country with the highest economic growth in Latin America and the Caribbean, if in the first half of this year - exports of goods in the nation grew only 0.1%, agricultural production continued to deteriorate, had to take cost-saving measures energy, falling production of hydraulic and thermal energy; and transit of vessels through the canal declined in the first six months of the year?
How is it that Panama's economy grows 6.2%? The government has just approved a cut in public spending of about $ 500 million, based between their technical arguments, which was not fulfilled in the first half with the programming of the collection of current revenues of the central government.
FOREIGN DIRECT INVESTMENT
What, then, is the macroeconomic variable that sustains economic growth in Panama of 6.2% in the first half?
It Is Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), which grew 26% in the first six months of 2014 compared to the same period last year.
To get an idea of the impact of FDI in the first half of the relationship of this variable with respect to real GDP was 15%.
In recent years, FDI has been a significant variable in the growth of the economy.
From 2000 to 2013, it went from $ 624 million to $ 4.65 Billion, an increase of over $4 Billion during these thirteen years, an expansion of 646% in this period.
One explanation of why FDI grows so strong in Panama is because foreign companies are constantly buying Panamanian companies. This phenomenon has involved almost all activities of the country, but mainly in the banking, industrial and trade sector.
If it is good or bad to depend on foreign investment for the growth of a country, that is another debate. At this time Foreign Direct Investment is what keeps Panama growing…
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