Panama corruption remains biggest challenge – US State Department

FAST growing economy but justice can take decades

 
2,031Views 5Comments Posted 15/07/2019

While  Panama has one of the fastest growing economies in the Western hemisphere corruption remains its biggest challenge says a US State Department report on  the investment climate released on July 11..

The report notes  that US investors claim that there is "rampant corruption" in both the private and public sectors and recalls that Panama ranked 93 out of 180 countries in Transparency International's Corruption Perception Index in 2018.

The State Department points out in particular land titling processes, "which have been very problematic for multiple US companies," some of which have had to wait decades for their cases to be resolved.

"The process to apply for permits or titles can be opaque and it has been known that public servants request payments at each step in the approval process."

Changing parameters
US investors also complain about the lack of transparency in public procurement. "The parameters of the bids change frequently during the bidding process, generating confusion and the perception that the government makes customized bids for certain companies."

The State Department recalls that Brazilian construction company Odebrecht admitted to paying $ 59 million in bribes to win public contracts, "but it is still doing business in Panama and actively participating in government projects."

"Panama lacks a strong system of checks and balances that could serve to encourage accountability," said the report before recalling that only the National Assembly can initiate investigations of corruption against judges of the Supreme Court of Justice and vice versa , which has led to a kind of non-aggression pact between the two institutions.

Poor education
The Treasury Department also highlights that Panama is the Central American economy that receives the most foreign direct investment and that it is one of the economies in the Western Hemisphere with the highest growth rate, with good credit, a strategic location and a stable government.

Despite these advantages, "Panama has challenges such as corruption, judicial capacity, a workforce with low education, as well as labor and financial issues, which could have prevented the arrival of new foreign investment or complicated existing investments."   

 



Comments 5

user
George Klk

Panama | A Reply to volcan357 and my response. volcan357 Well now that Trump has compromised the independence of the justice department with the appointment of William Barr how is it any better in the US ? --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- The United States main political parties, Republicans and Democrats have made government decisions based on their cabinet elected positions and advisors. During the process, one of the main issues was how to balance the budget. The two political parties and rivals with government shutdowns eventually agree on the budget. The United States was actually worse off. Fact: a). Provided foreign appeasements as a norm to the point of a legitimized...[Foundation]. b). Provided foreign appeasements in the form of $100's billions in international trade deficits. c). Provided appeasement in regards to China to a recent $500 - $600 plus trade deficits / annually. d). Provided compensatory justifications of a make up with the services sector...inadequate. e). Provided China / nations with virtually all comparative advantages against the United States. f). Provided the U.S. losing negotiated deals for the sake of wealthy corporations non-tariffs. g). Provided the U.S. citizens with loss of jobs, manufacturing, steel industry, loss of I.P., etc. The United States politicians allowed unmerited foreigners to enter the border for welfare. The U.S. created a war situation in Iraq only to have Iran take over their oil. The U.S. wars and loss of jobs and other values has created $10's Trillions of U.S. national debt. China uses the United States capital to purchase U.S. commercial and residential properties. China uses the U.S. trade surplus to purchase large brand name corporations. China uses the U.S. trade surplus to dominate the world markets with high tech...Example: Huawei. China hacks and theft of U.S. intellectual property has cost the U.S. $1.2 trillion at tax payers expense. Obama administration has depleted the United States military. Obama administration has spread Islamic extremism as beheadings became popular in his name. The United States has lost U.S. American lives and a downward economy unnecessarily because of poor decisions made by politicians with no comprehensive global strategic economic and military plans. The United States democratic women aspire for the glass ceiling of a U.S. presidency have no background for a well planned strategic defense with U.S. and global allies in matter beginning with appropriate allocations of capital. Panama now will be heavily influence by the jurisdiction of China's international bank and mobile espionage devices the Huawei with advancing technology in artificial intelligence strategic plans. The United States has always been unable to see the strategic plans of its adversaries because of their policy for appeasements that made the strategic plans of their adversaries possible. To answer your questions on this bare minimum of information...the U.S. is not faring well. The U.S. Trump administration has seen the calamities ahead of the democratic party but... the democrats insists on their main stay policy of Human Rights and defaming (impeachment) the U.S. president to achieve their own agendas. Panama new president Cortizo and his administration is still on the Grey List as a result of not doing enough to control and eliminate the various corruptions by the...National Assembly! This represent a very difficult challenge for the United States as Panama favors the "One China" policy, China aims to surpass the U.S. as the leading Global Super Power.

4 months ago
user
volcan357

Well now that Trump has compromised the independence of the justice department with the appointment of William Barr how is it any better in the US ?

4 months ago
user
George Klk

Panama | Education System Not Made Relevant------Education system needs to be made relevant. Example: Provide educational projects in the playgrounds of students outside of classes. As the students become curious of the activities of their friends involvement they become involved. Example: Provide the time and date of further educational projects with notification to parents of daily educational activities for their children. Example: Provide a credit system for the students taking part in the education projects. Example: Provide math and literacy to apply for a...lemonade stand, mechanical, electrical assembly and sewing as visual guide to a better understanding for real life opportunities and application for the workforce. Example: Provide a familiarity with after school hours kids participation with businesses looking for new knowledgeable enthusiastic workers. A few projects for independent minded kids taking the initiative will learn applications and opportunities and not feel abandoned and left to street gangs.

4 months ago
user
George Klk

Panama | Public Servants (Plural) Receive Bribe Payments (Plural) at Each Step. Why has not this nontransparent bribery payments not wired/recorded for the public? Why has not this nontransparent bribery payments not reported to the police? Why has not this crime not part of a exclusion clause in an investor's contract? a). Contract based on 'good faith' and not 'hidden fees' of public servants at their sole discretion! b). Public servants 'hidden fees' places investors at disadvantage with lawyers because of delays. c). Public servants 'hidden fees' can claim erroneous errors during each stage...leverage/delays. d). Public servants leverage and delays may cause damages to prospective investors...$$$. Investors in Panama should publish with evidence the - actual and potential damages - and the inefficiencies of the business climate as a - whole- of a small international nation run by a band of thieves. Foreign investors must band together and publish videos with all the 'actual and potential damages' to their pocket book with actual total monetary figures and possibly sue the state in legal court. As long as the poor begging thieves think can operate their clever hidden operation they will cause further cases of bribery in a new sophisticated network with the new Panama government administration. Panama President Laurentino Cortizo name and administration will be...MARKED...with a bribery scandal discrediting his name and government! Panama administration (business climate) is run by various bands of thieves...public servants (plural). 1 TIMOTHY 6:10 KJV :"For the love of money is the root of all evil."

4 months ago
user
George Klk

Panama | Panama Corruption Remains Biggest Challenge - U.S. Department... "The process to apply for permits or titles can be opaque and it has been known that public servants request payments at each step in the approval process." -------------------------------------------------------------- Excerpt above has significant meaning according to this article. "...public servants request payments at each step in the approval process." Request of payments (plural) by public servants...does lead to bribery with significant $$$. Request of payments by public servants...the basis and root of bribery and non-transparencies. Public servants than become the enemy of foreign investments and will form an eventual legal case government alliance. Public servants...root cause of bribery take advantage as if it is their right. Laws should be established to define this correlation between public servants and obligations with foreign investors. The foreign investor's rational is..."I will get my money back at the expense of the Panama state. The foreign investor is then punished as corrupt when the corruption is exposed! Payments to Panama public servants should be considered degrading and unprofessional as public servants take advantage of the foreign investors with disrespect. Public servants also know Panama as reliable with decades long reliance on delayed justice...leverage! Public servants...free money, what are they going to do about it...nothing!

4 months ago
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