Japan announces Metro 3 will be region’s first Monorail. – Weekly News Roundup, January 29th.

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Panama plans for Central America’s first monorail on track

Earlier this month, plans for Japan’s investment in Panama’s Metro Line 3 were announced. Now, more information is coming out about just how big the investment will be, the partnership with the Panamanian government, and the type of rail, which will be used. Panama is now slated to construct, with the help of Japan, the region’s first monorail.

According to a Bloomberg report, Panama’s vice minister of foreign affairs, Luis Miguel Hincapie, said in an interview in Tokyo last Thursday (January 14) that the agreement includes funding from the government-backed Japan Bank for International Cooperation.

“This is the start of a new era of cooperation with Japan, and is very important for Panama,” Hincapie said.

Japanese companies Hitachi and Mitsubishi have both expressed interest in project.

National Panamanian newspaper La Prensa has reported that Panama’s President Juan Carlos Varela is to visit Japan in April to finalize the monorail plans and to concentrate on strengthening business relations between the two countries.

Source: Latin Correspondent

Forbes: “Panama’s Only Major Electronic Music Festival Is Worth The Trip.”

Panama’s tourism sector is expanding its audience, and growing with international market demand. One of the big growth areas, all over the world, are destination music festivals, specifically in the EDM genre. Now, Panama is jumping into the ring as one of the premier music festival destinations in Central America. And so far, fans like what they see.

Earlier this month, the third annual TDA Festival took place in Panama City, and it was the perfect example of the kind of events that are popping up all over a region where there wasn’t previously much to speak of in the way of these goings on. This isn’t just a small party with some DJs located around the corner either. TDA’s organizer, Disco Donnie Presents (in partnership with local on the ground promoter ShowproPanama), has the connections to book people like Diplo, Skrillex, and Zedd. Those are artists that might not typically visit the country for a solo show, but for a high-paying festival, it’s likely worth it. In addition, the company that hosts TDA works with many (if not all) of the artists on a regular basis, so by playing one festival in distant country, the DJs are more prone to get additional bookings in the future.

Source: Forbes

Panama Canal Update: First Lock Gate Installed on Pacific Side

Another milestone was reached this month at the Panama Canal expansion site, as the first Pacific lock gate was installed. This is a big step towards completion, as there are only three locks in total for the length of the Canal.

It was carried to its final destination on self-propelled motorized wheel transporters (SPMTs) with more than 400 wheels each. This gate, located in what is known as lock head one, is the first of eight gates that will be installed in the new locks at the Pacific side of the waterway. The steel-rolling gate is 8 meters wide, 57.6 meters long and 22.28 meters in height, weighing 2,300 tons.

“Today’s installation marks an important step towards the completion of the Expansion Program,” said Panama Canal Administrator/CEO Jorge L. Quijano. “This project will have an important impact on world maritime trade and will further position Panama as the logistic hub of the Americas.”

Source: MHL News

Travel Smart: How to find cheap flights & accommodations in Panama

It’s high season in Panama for tourism, but that doesn’t mean it’s too late to plan a last-minute winter getaway. Traveling to Panama is easier than ever, and if you know a few tips and tricks, you can find some great deals. Check out our simple tips on how to travel smart, and save on your next trip to Panama. Here’s an excerpt from our latest blog post:

When to book your travel to Panama

Traveling smart in Panama during high season requires a certain amount of planning ahead, although, if you need to book last minute, you can still get some great deals. Your best bet for flights is to book about 10 weeks ahead of your scheduled departure. Another good idea is to be flexible about your dates. If you have flexible vacation time, or flexibility in your agenda while in Panama, you will have many more price options for flights and hotels. Typically, the best (and cheapest) days to fly are Tuesdays and Thursdays, and if you’re willing to endure some connecting flights, you can drive the price down even further.

Continue reading about how to travel cheaply in Panama

About Manoj Chatlani

Manoj Chatlani is a Senior Partner at POLS Attorneys, a full-service law firm in Panama City, Panama. Specializing in offshore services, including asset protection, estate planning, offshore banking, and offshore corporations, as well as Panama immigration and real estate transactions, POLS Attorneys offers clients a streamlined solution to all their Panama legal needs. Manoj is a Panamanian lawyer and holds a law degree from USMA and earned a Masters in Communication Law and Panama Tax law.

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