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IDB loan to assist Panamanian students

IDB loan will assist Panamanian children

Inter-American Development Bank News Release
June 7, 2012 – News Release

IDB loan for US$70 million to benefit more than 38,000 Panamanian students

The Inter-American Development Bank approved a loan for $70 million to provide innovative educational infrastructure to 47 communities in Panama that will benefit more than 38,000 students. The goal is to expand educational opportunities and encourage students in marginal and indigenous areas to complete basic education.

More than a third of Panamanians between the ages of 13 and 17 do not attend school. Coverage levels are especially low for the groups targeted by the program. For example, in the Ngäbe-Buglé and Guna Yala indigenous administrative regions, only 43 percent of youths attend secondary school.

The IDB financing will be used to expand and equip 20 primary schools to include grades seven to nine and construct two model schools that will have innovative facilities and will employ a new pedagogical and educational management approach. These investments are expected to result in the matriculation of 10,000 new students from preschool through secondary school.

In addition, the program will providing 47 schools with classrooms designed to facilitate learning. The basic curriculum will be updated to prepare students for the challenges of the 21st century, and training and support will be extended to staff and faculty in school management, pedagogy, and curriculum content.

Only 62 percent of Panamanian schools have drinking water in Panama, compared with 77 percent for the Latin America and the Caribbean as a whole. Half have adequate sanitation, compared with 65 percent for the region

Studies indicate that the quality of a school’s physical environment directly affects both the motivation and behavior of teachers as well as learning, discipline, and attention levels of the students.

Schools benefiting from the program are located poor areas with high dropout rates in the provinces of Panamá, Coclé, Colón, Chiriquí, Los Santos, and the indigenous administrative areas of Ngäbe-Buglé and Guna Yala.

The financing was extended for a 25-year term with a grace period of four years and a variable interest rate based on LIBOR. Counterpart funding totals $10 million.

New release thanks to IDB website: http://www.iadb.org/en/news/news-releases/2012-06-07/panama-will-improve-school-infrastructure,10017.html

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PANAMA – The long awaited Panama-Canada Free Trade agreement will be signed in Toronto Canada on May 14th said Panama’s Commerce and Industry Minister Roberto Henriquez. The countries completed the agreement early this year and the agreement would give Canada immediate access to Panama’s markets and services while Panama’s access is tied to a deadline. Both countries need to ratify the agreements in order to start up trade. We were told that before the end of 2010 they would be operational.

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Fitch Upgrades Panama´s Investment Grade

Development: On 23 March the international credit ratings agency Fitch upgraded Panama from BB+ to BBB-.

Significance: The upgrade is a victory for the rightwing government of President Ricardo Martinelli, making Panama the fifth Latin American country to reach this category, alongside Brazil, Mexico, Chile and Peru.

It follows Martinelli’s recent tax reform which was aimed at increasing access to finance and reducing the cost of doing business in Panama. The reform, which takes effect in July, raises VAT from 5% to 7%, cuts income tax and reduces the corporate tax rate from 30% to 25%. That VAT increase move has been lambasted as regressive by unions and popular movements. As well as simplifying the tax code by abolishing over 30 duties, the reform cuts taxes on banks with assets of between US$100m and US$750m but raises taxes on those with assets of over US$750m.

Fitch singled out the tax reform as one of the reasons for the upgrade, along with Panama’s ability to weather the recent global financial crisis. The agency noted that despite the fact that Panama’s real annual GDP growth rate slowed to 2.4% in 2009, from 10.7% in 2008, it still had one of the highest growth rates in the region and amongst other BBB rated countries.

The upgrade could help Panama in its efforts to secure a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with the US, which has been ratified by Panama but is pending approval by the US congress. Panama’s lack of tax transparency has been a major concern for the US.

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Panama has 22% of the World´s Ships Flying its Flag
Machine translated from the original article in La Prensa:

Wilfredo Jordán S.
wjordan@prensa.com
http://mensual.prensa.com/mensual/contenido/2009/08/18/hoy/Negocios/1891335.asp

In 2004 there were 6061 ships registered by the Panama. Now, in agreement with the official registries, there are 8661 ships.

Between 2004 and what goes of 2009, Panama registered 2600 ships and about 40 million tons of gross registry, that means a growth of 41% in this period. At the closing of 2004, 6061 ships registered by Panama with 168 million tons of gross registry existed. At the moment the country has 8661 ships with 202,979,000 tons. These numbers represent 22% of the world-wide marine fleet, in comparison with the main competitors of Panama: Liberia, that has a registry of 2639 ships and Marshall Island, with a count with 1612. “We have like the Government, the commitment that the income from this institution gets to the people who need it”, the administrator of the AMP, Linares Robert commented. The approximated net income of the AMP by the registry of ships calculate in 80 million dollars a year. In 2004 this income was 52 million dollars and in 2008 it went up to around the 78 million dollars. In indirect income, it is calculated that the registry of ships generates more than 100 million dollars a year. If the smaller ships of 100 tons are included, Panama has more than thousand registries.

Ships Registered under the Panamanian Flag

Ships Registered under the Panamanian Flag

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Today the new Cinta Costera walkways along Ave. Balboa were packed with holiday goers (located on the Pacific Coast of Panama). This morning, hundreds of people walked, biked, jogged, played, skate boarded, roller bladed along the new walkways.

Today is the swearing in of the new Panamanian President Martinelli at the Atlapa Convention Center so it is a National Holiday in Panama (Canada Day as well- a holiday in Canada!).

SCROLL DOWN THE BLOG PAGE 2 STORIES TO MORE CINTA COSTERA PHOTOS.

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Speaking at the Live and Invest in Panama Conference

Speaking at the Live and Invest in Panama Conference

I was invited to speak at the Live and Invest Overseas Conference a while back in Panama City. The Conference was very well organized by Kathleen Peddicord and Lief Simon; attendees flew in mainly from North America for from several days to several weeks to explore Panama.

My subject this conference (I had spoken a number of times for previous International Living Conferences) was “Opening a Business in Panama – Our Experience”. We also set up an information table about Taboga Island and our B&B Inn Cerrito Tropical.

Conference Table for B&B Inn Cerrito Tropical

Conference Table for B&B Inn Cerrito Tropical

People often ask me, if not for financial gain, why do I speak publicly at these types of Expat / Investment conferences?
My answer is quite simply, I love the challenge of speaking to a large group, and the opportunity to speak about Taboga Island.

Expat

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Restaurant Segundo Muelle in Panama City

Restaurant Segundo Muelle in Panama City

Loved It!

Excellent Peruvian restaurant in San Fransisco, Panama. We went recently, the service was top notch, the food delicious, elegantly presented, price for Panama City was mid to high depending on what you order, decor modern.

I won´t get into a flowery description of what we ate here because it was all delicious, you can get a better idea from the menu online, complete with photos. Dessert was fabulous, we devoured the “Crocante de Lucuma”.

I will attach the website which has the menu with prices, directions, photos, check it out here:

http://segundomuelle.com/panama/index.htm

Location: Calle Crisantemos Nº 16 esquina con calle 68, corregimiento de San Francisco, Ciudad de Panamá.

Tel: (507) 3919234 Fax: (507) 3919235

Reserve via e-mail: sanfrancisco@segundomuelle.com

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