Weekly Offshore Panama News – Nov. 22, 2013




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Welcome to our weekly Offshore Panama News roundup. This week we’re going international and taking a look at some changes in European conditions, leading to more favorable conditions for Panama-based corporations. Alongside this international analysis we will also be looking at Panama’s growing sense of self, with infrastructure improvements driving interest locally and abroad.

Catch up with this and more in our Weekly Offshore roundup from the isthmus!

UK Law Firms Encouraged To Look to Latin America

The emergence of Latin America as a serious region for investors and businesses has encouraged members of UK law firms to look to the west once more. UK legal services are now working more closely than ever with Latin American firms in investing, relying on local knowledge of Latin American laws to help pave their way. It is increasingly seen as a region offering increasing opportunity in a swiftly expanding economy.

“A big push is underway to promote the interests of UK law firms overseas – and in particular, in Latin America. In one initiative, The Law Society and the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) have teamed up to promote the UK legal services sector overseas. As Paul Rogerson reported in the Law Society Gazette: “In a [recent] speech at the CBI’s Centre Point headquarters in London, Society chief executive Desmond Hudson outlined the contribution of international law firms to the UK economy, warning that the UK’s competitive edge is under threat.”

And in another more geographically specific initiative – London-based consultancy to the legal profession MD Communications has published a White Paper outlining how “UK law firms are 15 to 20 years behind where they need to be to take advantage of the economic growth and investment potential of South America” – as Eduardo Reyes recently reported in The Law Society Gazette.”

Source: International Business Development Blog

 

Panama’s Airline Connectivity Taking Off

The increasing number of flights running through Panama’s international airport is solidifying its position as the “hub of the Americas”. Almost 1000 weekly flights will enter and exit Tocumen International Airport, with the number set to rise even further. This should have the effect of driving up business to Panama with affordable business and corporate travel, an increasingly powerful tool in the country’s PR offensive for corporate relocation.

“Panama is working to bring more airlines to Panama and expand the 970 weekly flights to and from Tocumen International Airport. Over the last few years, the country has signed six open skies agreements with Chile, Curacao, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Peru and the United States, bringing totals to 26 air agreements and 36 commercial airline relations.

This year, France and Portugal came onboard, and Panama is hoping to land agreements with Qatar and Colombia in 2014. There are also talks of approaching Israel, Turkey and Jordan, and the agreement with the Netherlands was also expanded to add a carrier to the Amsterdam-Panama route, currently controlled by KLM. Half of the flights out of Tocumen are headed to South America, 35% to Central America and the United States and the rest to Europe.”

Source: The Panama Digest

 

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden Meets with President Martinelli

United States Vice President, Joe Biden, swooped in to Panama this week for a meeting with Panamanian President Ricardo Martinelli, part of a long planned trade and economic conference planned one year ago. The VP, representing American industry alongside the Obama administration, has met with a number of opposition candidates running in 2014’s election for the Panamanian Presidency.

“Among the items to be covered by Biden in Panama are related to the free trade agreement the two countries signed a year ago, and the issue of the Panama Canal expansion. Meanwhile, about 15 cars up Biden’s motorcade, including explosion-proof units, ambulances, Institutional Protection Service, and dozens of agents. Moreover, Biden is planning a meeting with the country’s three presidential candidates. It was confirmed that a private meeting was held between Biden and the running candidate for Democratic Change, Jose Domingo Arias.”

Source: La Prensa

 

Panama: A Hub for Conventions

With the planned construction of a brand new convention center in the Amador Causeway, Panama is making a step in the direction of larger scale conferences. Aimed at international and local developers, the conferences will be promoted by the ATP – Panama’s tourism department. Investment in a number of multi-purpose conference centers will go hand in hand with the large number of available hotel rooms in Panama, as well as the increasingly diverse number of multinationals making the country the seat of their corporate headquarters.

“To sweeten the deal for companies, organizations and groups who would collectively visit Panama to hold a meeting or conference, the ATP offers special incentives, including a welcome cocktail event, a folklore show offering up the best of Panamanian cultural expressions or tours, among other options, resulting in significant savings.

One of the most attractive aspects of the new Trade Promotion Agreement between Panama and the United States is that US companies can claim expenses incurred from holding an international event in Panama against their US tax returns. Holding an event in Panama as opposed to other destinations like Miami or Puerto Rico can already represent significant savings, and tax breaks can be a clincher.”

Source: The Visitor

 

15 Facts about South America

This well-designed infographic charts some of the big facts about South America’s economies – including exports, imports and measures of GDP and social impact. Worth taking a look at for the high quality statistics.

Source: MercaTrade

 

Swiss Banks Forced to Meet Global Standards

Switzerland is seeking to rein in its banks with new legislation to improve its standing with world financial analysts and bodies. This is increasing the opportunity for other overseas territories to add existing financial organisations to their economies. While Switzerland is still planning to use the UK as its “center” of offshore finance, there are sure to be additional opportunities with companies seeking new ground and favorable legislation internationally.

“Switzerland passed a law protecting “too big to fail banks” to facilitate the partition of its major banks in a crisis, after the government had to bail out UBS during the financial meltdown of 2008.

Credit Suisse also said that Britain would remain the center of its investment banking business. Swiss Lawmakers are considering to further adjust capital requirements for large banks in the country with the aim of forcing Swiss lenders to meet new global standards that are being established in response to the financial crisis.”

Source: La Prensa

 

Free Downloadable Ebook – Panama Business Handbook

Put together by our legal team at POLS, the Panama Business Handbook is part of a series of ebooks written on topics relevant to our readers. We are aiming to provide expats and investors with the information they need, for free! Our main focus this week is successfully starting, owning and running a business in Panama – especially if you’re new to the way of doing business here.

They include such titles as –

  • Panama Offshore Asset Protection Guide ebook
  • Panama Business Handbook
  • Panama Relocation ebook

Feel free to “pay with a like” by using the social media sharing buttons on each ebook page. We have packed each ebook with detail, providing you with the introductory legal assistance you need for potentially making the decision to make Panama your base of operations. Follow the link to download your ebooks now!

Download Free Panama EBooks >>

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, Panama Offshore Legal Services 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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