The province of Colon is believed to have the necessary conditions to develop a shipbuilding industry that would generate thousands of jobs.
An article in Spanish.china.org.cn, reported that "according to the general manager of the Colon Free Zone (ZLC in Spanish) in Panama, Leopoldo Benedetti, the site of the former American base operated by Sherman in the northern province of Panama, is ideal for this purpose, having abundant ship traffic in the Panama Canal, where capacity is also being extended. "
Authorities from the Colon Free Zone (ZLC) met with potential investors to develop the Coco Solito sector.
This project comprises building new warehouses and parking lots.
Leopoldo Benedetti, ZLC CEO, told Prensa.com that “ZLC has been steadily growing for the past 10 months, and will continue growing within the city of Colón. For this they intend to enlarge its area up to where ‘Banco Hipotecario Nacional’ is located, on 16th street”.
While the debt of $1.2 billion has been left unpaid, traders in the Colon Free Zone are looking for better customers in Chile, Peru and Brazil.
On 12 August, the first bilateral meeting between Panama and Venezuela agreed that both parties would share documents so that commercial records could be verified, however, to date the Venezuelans have not submitted any.
Colombian authorities have show no interest in resolving the issue of additional taxes on imported goods from the CFZ.
According to Ricardo Quijano, Minister of Commerce and Industry (Mici), the panel could be set up in September as it ensures that the first step has already been taken and there has been a consultation period with the authorities of both countries to find a solution, which in this case could be a modification to the Colombian decree .
After having reached an agreement on prices with the users of the CFZ, the government of Panama introduced in the National Assembly the Colon Free Zone bill.
Panamaamerica.com reports that "After several months of negotiations between the administration of the Colon Free Zone and users, a consensus was reached as to the value of the land according to the appraisals."
For two weeks the national commission will be examining the validity of the debt documented as owed by Venezuelan businessmen to Panama exporters.
Prensa.com reports: "... the parties have agreed that Venezuela will send the records of more than 600 entrepreneurs who trade with the Colon Free Zone (CFZ), and then compare them with the data belonging to users of the Panamanian zone".
After repealing the law allowing the sale of land, the government is intending to put up rental prices.
"Yes, the rents are going to be raised, we said that from day one," said the Minister of Economy and Finance, Frank De Lima, whose aims is that users of the free zone will contribute the more than $27 million per year that are currently paid, towards improvement plans in the province.
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