Panama’s Varela visits Cuba. State acquires Metro Bus’ private interests. – Weekly News Roundup, September 11th.

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Business-friendly and warm: Panama attracts retirees and more

Panama’s reputation as a business-friendly location is on the rise, and one of the biggest markets for expats is Canada. This month, Canadian media group The Globe and Mail is looking at global property investments in an ongoing series. Earlier this week, they focused on Panama.

But the reason their property values are once again on the increase has less to do with the lures of leisure than with that country’s vibrant business economy, one ranked by the World Economic Forum as the second-most competitive in Latin America.

“Panama started out with banking, business, insurance, and the Panama Canal,” explained Dave Haney, of Canada Panama Realty, who moved to Panama in 2006. “And with American influence for over 100 years, it developed differently than other Central American countries. Tourism came almost as an afterthought.”

Source: The Globe and Mail


Panama, Cuba Continue Political Dialogue for the Common Good.

This week, Panama’s President Juan Carlos Varela visited Cuba for the first time during his term to extend solidarity to the Cuban nation, and talk about potential bilateral business arrangements between the two countries.

Other activities by the Panamanian statesman, who came accompanied by a delegation composed of a dozen businessmen, as well as Minister of Trade and Industry, Meliton Arrocha, include a tour of the Mariel Special Development Zone, west of Havana.

He expects to visit on Friday the Latin American School of Medicine, where Varela will meet with Panamanian students being trained as doctors in Cuba; while on Saturday, he will meet with Cuban Parliament President, Esteban Lazo.

Source: La Prensa Latina


State Acquires Share of “Mi Bus” From Private Company

In 2012, Panama debuted a new bus system known as Metro Bus, with the goal of cleaning up bus emissions and making public transportation more efficient and safe. To do so, they hired a private bus company from Colombia to offer the buses and management. This relationship is now coming to an end, and in an effort to stem financial losses, the state plans on taking control.

The purchase ends a concession granted to Mi Bus in 2010 that was plagued by complaints from users. The company Sonda will continue to manage the payment of fares through pre-paid cards.

The purchase will also end the company’s $75 million claim filed before an international court of arbitration for breach of contract. It also means the company has given up the right to file any future claims. The state must pay off the $195 million debt within the next seven years.

Source: La Prensa, Panama


7 Reasons Why 2016 will be Great to Live and Invest in Panama

Recent years have brought great property to Panama, and with that, lots of offshore investment and expat relocation. In our latest blog post, we go over 7 solid reasons why this upcoming year will be a great one to live and invest in Panama, and why you should do it. Here’s more from our blog:

  1. The Panama Canal Expansion Project. Despite delays, the new and improved Canal is scheduled to open in 2016, and it will have a major positive impact on Panama’s economy. If you decide to live and invest in Panama, this project will unavoidably affect you; and that’s a good thing, across the board.
  2. The real estate market is hot. Whether renting or buying, new properties abound in Panama these days, and 2016 is set to be a banner year for you to invest in Panama real estate. New developments in Panamas beaches, the capital, and its suburbs are drawing lots of attention from new residents and investors. Prices are good, and future value speculation is very positive, especially for foreign investment.

Continue reading about why 2016 is a great year to live and invest 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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