Panama Offshore Legal Services Blog

Four Reasons Why China’s Partnership With Panama Will Strengthen The Economy

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The news in Panama these days is largely focused on two main topics: the 2019 Panamanian presidential election, and China. It’s not a coincidence, either. The two topics have a lot to do with each other, and for good reason. This past year, Panama made a bold move by agreeing to a series of economic and diplomatic partnerships with China, effectively ending their long-standing relationship with Taiwan (China’s historic enemy). While the move has caused a lot of controversy and debate, it is a clear step towards economic strength for the future of Panama. Here are four reasons why this is the case. Continue reading »

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The Panama Canal: 100 years of progress and incredible engineering

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The word “Panama” typically brings to mind many things for those who live, work, and travel here. But to most of the world unfamiliar with the Central American nation, the first thing that comes to mind is almost always the Panama Canal. Heralded as one of the wonders of the world, and one of the greatest engineering feats in modern history, the Panama Canal has brought fame, fortune, and future prosperity to a country that’s small, yet incredibly powerful. Just a few years ago, the Panama Canal celebrated its 100-year anniversary, an event that marked many different eras, governments, and both economic and social cycles. Now, a few years after the 100th anniversary and inauguration of the new upgrades, we take a look at why the Panama Canal is more important than ever, and what it will bring to Panama in the future. Continue reading »

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Veraguas Highway Undergoing Major Upgrade

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Panama has been planning, and executing major national highway upgrades for quite some time now, in an attempt to modernize the interior’s infrastructure. Currently, there are eleven of these projects underway on a national level, with the largest being the “Corredor Atalaya” which is the principal road transportation source for the province of Veraguas. Veraguas is a province that covers a huge swath of land, going from the Caribbean all the way down through the Azuero Peninsula, with Panama’s 4th largest city (Santiago) in the middle. The total planned construction is to span just over 100 total km of highway, which is relatively large by Panama standards, especially in that area. Continue reading »

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Panama’s Caribbean Coast: Beaches, beauty, and natural wonder

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Panama’s Caribbean coast has a unique history. It’s the first coast the Spanish settled upon, a place rich in resources and pristine beaches, and hosts the northern mouth of the Panama Canal. For the past century or so, however, Panama’s Caribbean coast has largely been overshadowed by the economic and tourism powerhouse of the capital city and developed beach areas of the Pacific. Despite all this, there is a certain kind of magic contained within Panama’s Caribbean coastline. One that locals in the rest of the country know, and value, even if they don’t visit that often. Panama’s northern Caribbean coast has some of the country’s best beaches, hikes, fishing, boating, maritime commerce, and yes, party scene. Here’s more.
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Chinese-Belgian Consortium Wins Panama Cruise Terminal Contract

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After a long and arduous bidding process, a consortium formed from Belgium’s “Jan de Nula” and China’s “China Harbour Engineering Co.” won a $165 million contract to design and build a new cruise terminal in Panama. The terminal, which will be built at the Pacific entrance of the canal, will house international cruise ships adjacent to Panama City, something that has been in planning for quite some time now. The consortium, called Cruceros del Pacifico, is expected to complete the entire process within two years, hoping to make it fully functional by the end of 2019. The Panama Maritime Authority will be in charge of the overseeing of the project, and the terminal’s operation once complete.
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Panama Cuts Ties With Taiwan, Builds New Relationship With China

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In a move that was shocking to some, and expected by many, Panama officially opened diplomatic relations with China this week, effectively ending more than a half century of partnership with Taiwan. The move comes as Panama’s President Juan Carlos Varela looks to boost the country’s economy through stronger trade and manufacturing partnerships, with China as the golden goose. Varela and his government made it a point to stress that they are fully on board with China’s political policy regarding Taiwan, a move that shocked and angered both Panama’s Taiwanese community as well as many in Taiwan itself. In a statement made during a press conference involving both China and Panama, Varela stated:

“The Government of the Republic of Panama recognizes that there is only one China in the world, the Government of the People’s Republic of China is the only legitimate government representing all of China, and Taiwan is an inalienable part of the Chinese territory,” Continue reading »

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The Hub of The Americas: How Panama leads the way in shipping and logistics

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Panama has long been known as the “hub of the Americas”, and one of the most significant transportation and logistics countries in the world. Panama has some of the most international flights leaving and arriving (connections or otherwise) in the world, and certainly the region, with more being added every year. Panama also facilitates the world’s biggest ships, and plays a part in practically every facet of global, sea-based trade in the western hemisphere, especially cross-oceanic trade. This distiction, as the “hub of the Americas”, is more than just a marketing ploy, too. Panama’s role as a travel, trade, and logistics hub has both built its economy, and continues to help sustain it now and into the future. Continue reading »

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Panama Canal Expansion Prepares for Long-Awaited Inaugural Passages

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Panama is almost ready for the first ships to cross the soon-to-be inaugurated expanded Canal. In fact, they’re all set for the first ship to arrive on June 26th, and the normal service to come through around the first week of July. Ships have already set off from Asia to make the journey, and make history. This date can’t come soon enough for the Panama Canal Authority, who has had major setbacks throughout the project, including more than two years of delays for the first passage. But now, that’s all water under the bridge, as a new era approaches for international trade; and more importantly to Panama, an economic boost.

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Panama’s Free Trade Agreement With Mexico Begins

Mexico's President Pena Nieto and his Panamanian counterpart Martinelli shake hands after signing a free trade agreement between the two countries in Panama City
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This week, Panama moved one step closer to joining the ever-growing Pacific Alliance by officially beginning the bilateral Free Trade Agreement with Mexico, signed in 2014. The two countries already do significant trade with each other, and this is a big move that will help grow both economies, and give Panama a strategic place in regional trade and commerce. Mexico is one of the strongest economies in Latin America, and has major export potential for Panama and the entire region. Mexico currently trades over $1 billion annually with Panama, with most of that number coming form exports to the isthmus.

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Panama is Becoming a Premier Destination for Conferences and Events

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Panama’s tourism sector is growing fast, and one of the biggest sub-sectors at the forefront of this growth is in international conference and events. From 2012 to 2014, Panama increased its conference attendance by 50%. And this is only counting conferences and congresses. If you factor in concerts and live music festivals, that number is actually much higher. Some of the major reasons for this surge are tied in directly with other aspects of the tourism boom, including an increase in available flights, hotel rooms, and event space. It’s also no secret that Panama is becoming a well-known destination for more affordable luxury travel; something that event organizers look for when booking major conferences. Continue reading »

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