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Panama Announces Major Reforms to Improve Competitiveness

Article Summary:

The government of Panama has announced a package of 30 pro-competitive reforms implemented in the last year, all of which aim to improve the ease of doing business in the country.

Photo Credit: Epiac

Original Article Text From Gobierno Nacional via Google Translate :

Government Running Pack of 30 Reforms to Improve the Ease of Doing Business in Panama

This effort is measured in the World Bank report to be issued in October

A package of at least 30 pro-competitive reforms the Government has implemented in the last year with the aim of improving the ease of doing business in the country informed the Secretariat Kristelle Getzler Economic Competitiveness and the Ministry of the Presidency during the meeting monthly payment on Wednesday 29 August.

“We are confident that these reforms will contribute to climb positions in Panama Doing Business report prepared by the World Bank,” said Getzler. The report – which assesses 10 factors related to time, cost and steps for doing business-plans published in October.

The successful implementation of these reforms is the work of coordination is done from the Economic Secretariat of the Presidency with other state institutions to align economic and financial goals today translate into gains for the benefit of the country and Panamanians. Getzler said the Public Registry is one of those entities that have reported advances that will positively impact the measurement of Doing Business.

In this regard, the Director of the Public Registry Hernando Abraham Carrasquilla-guest of honor of the monthly economic meeting mentioned some of the efforts of the institution:

• Reduction of a day in the process of registering a corporation before the Mercantile Section of the Public Registry
• Settlement and payment of the first fee only through the Virtual Window
• Reduction of 13 days in the process of obtaining building permits – mainly in the time it takes to register property improvements in the Public Register (it went from 18 to 5 days) and in the process to obtain a certificate of ownership (two days to one). The impact of this indicator Carrasquilla-explained-is reflected in a reduction of about 60% of the time previously allocated to the review and approval of plans.

Each of the processes, which are part of modernization-registration to view clear and tangible results. During the first half of 2012 the performance of the fund in Tariff and duties and other revenue for the first half of 2012, presents a positive B/.2, 505,235.00.

The Public Registry is dedicated to a modernization process that includes the integration of existing information systems registration in a single technology platform, which facilitates handling, improves performance and gives more strength to the system registry. Additionally we will reengineer all processes in the institution and allow the use of electronic signatures for secure electronic documents.

In short, the director of Public Registry registry reported that modernization will help maximize the contribution to the Central Government, which is currently B/25, 400,800.00 (45.65%) for state operation.

During his presentation, Carrasquilla also referred to the project implementation of electronic signatures in Panama, the implementation of which corresponds to the Public Registry and will streamline its state, save on paper and streamline processes.

This initiative is one of the Unforgivable the President and the first stage is estimated that 100,000 signatures will be available nationally to both the public and private sectors.

Finally Carrasquilla showed the performance of the income reported by the entity-period January to June 2012 – the proceeds of which amounted to 22.1 million dollars (2.5 million more than planned).

Economic indicators
Getzler, meanwhile, gave an overview of the main economic indicators reported in June 2012. According to the Monthly Economic Activity Index (MIEA), prepared by the Comptroller General of the Republic, the physical production of goods and services in Panama increased during the first half of this year at a higher rate compared to the same period in 2011, demonstrating sustained strength in domestic productive capacity. In the first half of 2012, output increased 9.5% compared to the same period last year.

Meanwhile the IMAE, in the month June 2012 recorded a rate of 10.3%, the highest reported monthly, not only in the months that preceded it in 2012 but in the last three years.

Meanwhile the National Port System showed a sustained growth rate of 14.7% during the first half of the year, similar to the 14.8% growth between the first semesters of 2011/10. However it should be noted that this growth occurs in a context where the volume of expected growth in world trade is only 3.8%, according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF). “This shows the importance of maintaining the sea route through Panama as an alternative access to international markets,” he reiterated Getzler.

Another interesting point highlighted by Getzler has to do with the report recently issued by the Ministry of Economy and Finance in which it is reported that poverty in Panama, in March 2012, was 25.8% of the population, which compared with the rate of 27% in August 2011 indicates that approximately 61 000 300 Panamanians out of poverty during this period. Additionally, the extreme poverty rate also declined from 11.5% to 10.4% over the same period.

Getzler insisted that this reduction in poverty and extreme poverty rate is due in large part to the continuity of programs like Opportunity Network and creating new and 100 for 70 and Universal Fellowship, among others that have impacted positively on the lives of thousands of Panamanians.

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From Gobierno Nacional

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