The mayoralty of Panama has announced that it will not confirm the increase approved for permits for projects whose values exceed $1 million, until there is dialogue with the construction sector.
Regarding the controversy over the recent decision to increase municipal taxes for building permits, and about which the Panamanian Chamber of Construction (Capac) has said it had no prior knowledge, and that this measure is being taken "at the wrong time" the mayor said that the city council took the decision to give the green light to the measure, although his administration had suggested presenting the proposal to bring the issue to the Committee to discuss it.
The union of builders attributed the 10% drop in building permits in the first quarter to the slowness with which the Mayoral office of Panama is processing procedures.
On the other side of the fence Jose Blandon, Mayor of the Municipality of Panama, where a large number of construction projects are being developed, defended his position arguing that "... efforts are being made to improve processes but they can not just grant permission to any project . "
Estimations are of an increase of 10.5% for 2016 and 14% for 2017, after a 7% increase was registered in 2015, compared to the previous year.
In January 2016 alone, the number of new buildings in the main districts of the country amounted to 448, "... with a value of around 161 million Balboas, with a positive impact in the districts of Panama, San Miguelito, La Chorrera and Arraijan, where 85% of all buildings are concentrated. "
Cemosa, Consorcio Amador, Consorcio Proyecto SEG and Ayesa have presented their proposals to oversee the construction of the new convention center.
Of the ten companies that were interested in the tender to project manage construction of the Convention Center of Amador, four have formalized their offers in the public tender, according to Prensa.com.
On 16 February experts in the construction sector will be meeting to discuss issues such as sustainable building techniques for efficient water use.
The Commission for Environment and Sustainability at the Panamanian Chamber of Construction (Capac) has organized for a forum on February 16 which will include the participation of experts from the Ministry of Environment, the Panama Canal Authority, the Water Center for the Humid Tropics for Latin America and the Caribbean, the University of Panama and the Panama Green Building Council.
The construction sector has announced three housing fairs for this year, expecting 100,000 people to participate and business deals to be struck worth $450 million.
The Panamanian Chamber of Construction (CAPAC) announced its schedule of trade fairs for 2016: Housing Expo will be held from 14 to 17 April; Chiriqui Expo from 12 to 16 August and CAPAC Expo Habitat, from 7 to 11 September.
The Panamanian construction union claims that 80 procedures must be undertaken in 22 institutions to launch a social interest residential project, and has proposed creating special regulations for this type of work.
Although the government raised the ceiling rate for affordable housing to $50 thousand, the low profit margins of these projects, coupled with the excessive amount of paperwork and permits that must be obtained to initiate developments are discouraging interest in construction projects of this type. A special legal framework, which requires less paperwork and undertakes processes faster, could minimize bureaucratic costs and increase the incentive to invest in social interest projects.
From 9 to September 13 companies and providers to the construction industry will be exhibiting their products at Expo Habitat 2015, with the expectation of closing business worth $160 million.
The Panamanian Chamber of Construction expects to achieve $160 million in deals made at the Expocapac fair, which expects the participation of over 400 exhibitors. In 2014 sales $145 million were made at the fair on housing, agricultural and construction equipment.
The construction union is calling for the Public Procurement Act to be amended to give more participation to domestic firms, generating more transparency and eliminating cronyism and corruption in government procurements.
The Panamanian Chamber of Construction (CAPAC), resents the number of works that have been granted to foreign companies at the expense of local businesses. and it points out problems that arise in many projects, including cost overruns, technical questions, and paralysis and non completion of work, in order to advocate for reforms to the Law on Public Procurement.
Although the government is threatening to cancel concessions, aggregate traders have raised their prices by up to 17% in opposition to the tax on the extraction of construction materials in Panama.
Fourteen days after the start of collections of the tax on extraction of materials, increases of up to 17% have been recorded in final consumer prices in some retail outlets. The law prohibits the transfer the tax to the final price, but builders say that "... it is very difficult to control because it is an operating cost" in the case of housing prices and other real estate projects.
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