Panama approves banana production contract with Del Monte. The Cabinet Council of Panama approved into law the contract that will allow the Banapiña de Panama SA company, a subsidiary of the Del Monte transnational fruit company, to invest more than $ 100 million dollars in banana production in the provinces of Chiriqui and Bocas del Toro.

The contract stipulates that Banapiña de Panama will invest a minimum of 100 million dollars over seven years in the districts of Baru and Alanje, in the province of Chiriqui, and in the district of Chiriqui Grande, in Bocas del Toro.

It also includes the lease of land and its preparation for planting, agricultural activities for growing bananas and / or plantains, the installation of irrigation systems, the construction of infrastructure for the packaging and export of the fruit, and any other improvements necessary for the development of the banana industry.

The contract will last for 20 years and will be automatically renewable for the same period of time under the same terms and conditions, except for tax exemptions, which must be reviewed by the State at the end of the contract’s first period.

Similarly, it will include the development of activities of interest in three blocks consisting of: 1,771 plots awarded to former employees of COOSEMUPAR, totaling 1,703 hectares; the Nispero, Palo Blanco, and Majagua farms, 816 hectares; and the land owned by the Nation, comprising a total of 1,223 hectares.

The company will present the Project Development Plan of Banana Reactivation the year following the delivery of the individual’s estates given in sublease to the company and the concession of those owned by the Nation.

According to forecasts, the company is expected to produce an average of 2,725 boxes of bananas per hectare a year. The project will be implemented in stages, at a rate of 800 hectares per year. In parallel, the company will execute the required investments and construct the buildings and facilities needed for its operation. This Resolution shall take effect after its promulgation.

‘The Cabinet Council is happy that the company gives employment in the district of Baru. We are satisfied and content that they will offer jobs here,” said the mayor of Baru, Franklin Valdes. The Municipality of Baru will receive $312,000 dollars per year and $26,000 dollars every month from the company.

Chinese Companies Interested In Using Panama As Latin America Entry Point

Chinese companies interested in using Panama as Latin America entry point. Panama’s positioning itself as a platform to distribute Chinese goods to Latin America offers a lot of potential, said Wang Weihua, permanent representative of China’s Office of Commercial Development in Panama.

“Panama is already acting as a bridge, a window to transit Chinese merchandise to Latin America. I think that, given Panama’s logistical development, this role will increase and will be enjoyed by more Chinese companies,” he said in an interview with Xinhua on Thursday.

Wang added that Panama is a potential base for manufacturing plants, which is helped by the country’s reputation as a logistical center.

According to Wang, the fact that a ship belonging to China’s Cosco Shipping was the first to pass through the newly expanded Panama Canal on June 26 attracted a lot of attention to the country.

Wang said that a big Chinese business delegation arrived in Panama this week and visited the Panama Chamber of Commerce, Industries and Agriculture (CCIAP).

During a meeting with the Chinese business delegation, Nestor Gonzales, Panama’s vice minister of foreign trade, said that his government is seeking to get closer to China.

Wang said the Chinese delegation was made up of around 35 Chinese entrepreneurs, led by Zhang Wei, vice president of the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT). The delegates mainly come from the telecommunications, banking and construction sectors and expressed a particular interest in investing in the energy and port sectors.

The Chinese delegation will stay in Panama until Friday, when it will visit the Colon Free Trade Zone to learn about its infrastructure and port capacity.

An agreement was also signed between the CCIAP and the CCPIT to jointly develop business and to seek opportunities to expand Panamanian exports to the Chinese market.

“Business between the Americas and China will continue to grow, representing a big opportunity for SMEs (small and medium enterprises),” Jorge Garcia, president of the CCIAP, told the Chinese delegation during the meeting.

Panama is one of just 22 countries to maintain formal diplomatic ties with Taiwan. China claims Taiwan as a wayward province and says it has no right to diplomatic relations with anyone.

The 35 Chinese entrepreneurs, lead by Zhang Wei, vice president of the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade, arrived in Panama this week, Xinhua said.

The delegates mainly come from the telecommunications, banking and construction sectors and “expressed a particular interest in investing in the energy and port sectors”, it added.

“During a meeting with the Chinese business delegation, Nestor Gonzales, Panama’s vice minister of foreign trade, said that his government is seeking to get closer to China,” it said.

China views Panama as a potential base for manufacturing plants, said Wang Weihua, permanent representative of China’s Office of Commercial Development in Panama, Beijing’s de facto embassy there.

Judges Give Green Light To Port of Corozal

Judges give green light to Corozal. Panama’s Supreme Court has thrown out a motion put forward by Panama Ports Company (PPC) that the tender for the Port of Corozal infringes guarantees set out in the country’s constitution.

The decision, which was taken by nine judges, clears the way for Panama Canal Authority (ACP) to continue with its tender for the construction of what will be a new container port with a 5.3m teu capacity.

Corozal port forms part of the ACP’s strategy to diversify its business portfolio and thereby maintain its competitive position, allowing it to generate additional income for the state.

The scheme, which has broad support in Panama, is especially supported by the Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture, even though PPC argues that, given the downturn in the global economy, its construction is entirely unnecessary.

In contrast and despite the fact that Panama has seen box volumes drop 12.8%, Rommel Troetsch, president of Panama’s Maritime Chamber, said that the country should invest in the development of its ports network to increase its share of the regional transhipment market.

He stated that it would also help convert Panama into a regional logistics hub for markets in Asia and Europe.