Electricity and fuel prices will go down
PANAMA. The price of the electricity tariff will go down by 10 percent next week and that will help thousands of Panamanians said the M...
PANAMA. The price of the electricity tariff will go down by 10 percent next week and that will help thousands of Panamanians said the Minister of Commerce, Roberto Henriquez.
He added that this reduction of the tariff form part of the Ricardo Martinelli Administration’s program is to reduce the cost of living in Panama.
The announcement was complemented by the news that the fuel prices will be reduced by 19 cents from July 16.
Talking about how the global financial crisis has affected the country, Minister Henriquez said that exports have been reduced by 50 percent.
However, he said that Panama continues to be an interesting place for many foreign fuel companies which want to establish their operations in the isthmus.
Currently there are three enterprises that want to occupy the land that the company Oxi-Qatar left vacant in Puerto Armuelles.
Henriquez added that countries such as Singapore has approached the Panamanian government to find ways in which it can increase its investments in the country.
The Minister said that Panama will advertise itself in international fairs to promote Panamanian exports and attract manufacturers which can make their products here generating employment and wealth.
Discussing about the demand of hotel rooms in Panama, Henriquez said that his ministry is currently trying to support the hospitality sector by giving facilities to those chains which want to open hotels in the country, but this is also a matter that corresponds to the Panama Tourism Authority.
With regards with the Free Trade Agreement with the United States, Henriquez said that he will travel to Washington D.C. in September to make contact with senators and congressmen to see if it can be ratified within a year, which is the term given to him by President Martinelli.
Referring to the Free Trade Agreement with Canada, Henriquez said that 98 percent of the document is almost ready, but certain aspects such as the sanitary register of meats will require a comprise between the two countries.
Henriquez also mentioned the possibility of negotiating other Free Trade Agreements with other countries in Latin America such as Mexico, but the problem is that nation has put Panama on the black list of tax havens and does not accept Panamanian goods.
He added that there have been some advancements with European countries that are willing to have bilateral relations with Panama instead of having to join the Central American Integration System SICA in order to negotiate a trade treaty with the European Union.
In respect of the stimulating local investors, Henriquez said that currently the Commerce Ministry is working in a series of measures aimed to help small and medium enterprises as a way to support the economy and create employment all over the country.