Welcome to the Panama Weekly Offshore Roundup. This week, the Hilton Panama opens its doors to the public. Wildlife and nature preservation is monitoring the Canal. Panama climbs the Global Innovation Index, and we take a look at high-tech in the city. Here’s the latest:
Panama Must Revamp Tolls to Stay Competitive
The world is a more competitive place than it used to be, and in the shipping industry, even more so. Because of this, a new study says, Panama must lower their shipping toll prices, to encourage more business from the Southeast Asian market, and Middle East.
The analysis shows that the Suez Canal is currently cheaper than for almost all routes and vessel sizes because carriers can use larger and more fuel-efficient ships. When Panama opens its new locks, which can handle vessels of up to 13,000 TEUs, it will be significantly cheaper to use the Panama routing from Shanghai in North China to East Coast ports than sail through the Suez Canal, even though the Suez Canal fees are lower.
However, the analysis shows the Suez Canal will retain its cost advantage for the route from Yantian near Hong Kong in South China to New York, and its cost advantage only becomes greater as the vessel size increases. “If the Panama Canal wishes to remain competitive for South China to USEC cargo, they may need to be creative in their pricing structure,” SeaIntel said.
Varela To Meet Pope On First Official Europe Trip
President Juan Carlos Varela has only been in office for two months, but this week, he heads to Italy to have an audience with the Pope. This is his first official European state visit, and he will also visit with members of the Italian government, as well as Spanish government. He arrives Friday September 5th.
On October 26 last year, the Pope met with former president, Ricardo Martinelli, but the Vatican did not confirm the visit until the last moment, something in the diplomatic delicacy of the Holy See has a special meaning. Martinelli’s visit went unnoticed by the news of Vatican Radio and just was reviewed with only a just five-line press release.
On September 8th the president will be received at noon by King Philip VI, of Spain, for lunch at the Royal Palace and in the afternoon will meet with the Spanish Prime Minister, Mariano Rajoy, and later with the Minister of Development, Ana Pastor.
Source: Newsroom Panama
Inflation in Panama Falls to 2.2%
Inflation fell to unusually low numbers in August, reaching a low of 2.2%. Typically, inflation ranges around 5% in Panama, with the highest in recent memory being around 8%. This is a good sign for the local economy, which continues to grow steadily, and at a rapid pace. Panama has had historically low inflation when compared to other countries in the region, and owes a lot of this to stable currency (US dollar).
The Consumer Price Index on July 2014 (compared to June of the same year), registered a decrease, month after month, 0.8%, influenced by a reduction of 3.1%. This is evident in the food and beverage group, mainly by the decrease in the price of rice, vegetables and dried vegetables.
Ivan Zarak, Economy Vice-Minister, noted that “inflation, which reached 8.7% mark up in 2008, is leveling off below 4%, which together with good levels of employment and a lot of revenue to the country through Foreign Direct Investment, denotes a positive outlook on the national economy.”
Source: GoGetIt Panama
Purchasing Panama Real Estate: An interactive, visual guide | Infographic
Buying or renting property in Panama can be tricky if you’re not familiar with the country. There truly is something for everyone, on every budget. You just need to know what to look for, and how to look for it. In our latest Infographic, we explore various areas of Panama to buy and rent, as well as break down cost/value, and compare it to other similar places worldwide.
In our latest POLS infographic, we break down real estate in Panama by the numbers, with easy-to-understand visuals, and current, quality data. We show you what you can get with your investment, and make comparisons between location, size, and types of properties. Check it out, and of course, feel free to contact us with any questions/concerns you may have about investing and living in Panama: