In his inaugural speech Ricardo Martinelli the newly elected president of Panama said: "We will make Panama the best place to do business in Latin America".
In fact, recent findings from the Financial Development Index of 2009 already rank Panama first in this regard. This announcement came last month and was published by the World Economic Forum (WEF). Panama is now ahead of Chile, Brazil and Perú. The index measures 120 indicators that examine all sorts of factors determining a countrys financial stability and growth.
The Panamanian economy grew 10.6% in 2008 with expected growth in 2009 to be substantial as well. Factors contributing to Panamas recent economic surge are its political stability and a strategic geographic location not to mention its currency being the US dollar.
Many intermational corporations are arriving in Panama making their global headquarters here. And with the newly elected government in place, this trend should very well continue as well as growth in other key areas of the economy.
Already the Panamanian government is scheduled to receive large public and private investments over the next five years that will include a large sum for widening the Panama Canal (over $3 billion). About $1.5 billion will be invested for the creation of a "metro transit system" and communications infrastructure. Real estate (investment) initiatives are soon coming as well.
METRO TRANSIT SYSTEM "LOGO CONTEST"
The Panamanian government is sponsoring a national competition for the creation of a logo design that will signify "Metro Panama". Entries began on October 1st and conclude at the end the month. The logo chosen will be the official mark of "Metro Panama" and will be seen on billboards, media print, television and stationary.
There will also be a new mall opening up in conjunction with this project that will be called "Metromall". This state-of-the-art shopping destination will feature prominent national retail chains and other great stores.
DIPLOMATS VISITING PANAMA
President Ricardo Martinelli held a meeting with Sheikh Abdullah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan who is the foreign minister of UAE. They discussed issues concerning trade, banking and future investment opportunities.
At the end of the meeting Panamas Deputy Foreign Minister (Meliton Arrocha) said the meeting had been an excellent forum to exchange ideas exploring how the banking sector of Panama can contribute more to the accomplishment of goals set by UAE.
Other key attendees to this forum included Panamas Minister of Economy and Finance (Alberto Vallarino), Panamas MInister of Trade and Industry (Roberto Henriquez) and Panamas Minister of the Presidency (Jimmy Papadimitriu).
This is a state run development project that will add much needed housing to the poverty stricken neighborhood of Curundu. The housing minister of Panama (Carlos Duboy) said that over one thousand new residential units will be built in Curundu to replace dwellings that no longer meet basic housing codes.
This project will receive key assistance from the "Ministry of Education" and the "Public Works and Social Development Department". The expansion of Curundu will also include the building of two new schools to go along with better roads, sewers and sports fields. At the end, the changes to Curundu will affect the lives of thousands.
Alberto Vallarino (the Minister of Economy and Finance) is providing funds for the timely completion of the "Panama - Colon Highway". Once completed this road will streamline travel between the two coasts and provide easier access to Tocumen International Airport.
THE "FIVE PLUS ONE" PROPOSAL
The Republic of Panama recently sent a proposal called the "Five Plus One" to the "European Union". The proposal essentially states that Panama wants to adhere to all union bylaws without having to sign the treaty of "Europe - Central America Union and Integration".
Panama belongs geographically to Central America but trade with South America is what keeps the country robust. This is the main reason that Panama doesn't want to align itself with Central America economically.
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