Panama: Government Already Clashing with Businessmen

The new government's tendency to increase social spending and its regulation of commercial private activities is concerning the business sector.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

The economic direction that Panama has taken since Juan Carlos Varela took office in July 2014 has failed to convince the private productive sector, which is suspicious of increased government spending through the implementation of subsidies, many of which do not have a reasonable enough basis and are not entirely necessary, according to some entrepreneurs.

For the Panamanian Association of Business Executives (APEDA), "... there have been bad experiences with these policies historically and they could turn into populist politics ... the marked tendency to turn to subsidies as a solution to social problems affects the business environment in Panama and the state's tax situation."

According to Ricardo Sotelo, president of the Union of Industrialists of Panama (SIP), some are beneficial, others are not necessary. "These grants will make people feel that it is easy to get free things and waste money, having uncontrolled subsidies is a slippery slope.'"

Panamaamerica.com.pa reports that "...Employers also emphasized other issues, where they believe there is interference by the government. They emphasize that the economic policy of the state is directed towards greater control and regulation of private enterprise. "



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