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.'" 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. "

More on this topic

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February 2018

Facing a second round of elections scheduled for April 1, private sector unions are calling on the two candidates to present their economic proposals for reducing the uncertainty that currently weighs heavily on the business climate.

A solution to the fiscal problem, and options for reducing the cost of energy and other production costs that are affecting the country's competitiveness is what Costa Rican businessmen are asking of the candidates who will face a second round of elections on April 1. 

Guatemala: Opportunities for Honest Entrepreneurs

June 2015

Following revelations about corruption at the highest level and the processing of those involved, it is unlikely that an official will request bribe money from a businessman.


Some analysts are concerned about the effect of allegations of corruption in Guatemala, noting that it will increase mistrust and the instability in economic activity, which could even have a negative effect because of the greater weight of the Guatemalan economy in Central America, over other countries in the region.

Costa Rica: Little Optimism for 2015

November 2014

Business confidence is still falling with complaints being made about the absence of an agenda which aims to improve the business climate in the country.

From a statement issued by the Costa Rican Union of Chambers and Associations of Private Business Sector (UCCAEP):

Business confidence falls at the end of the year

Costa Rica: More of the Same

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The initiative for a National Strategy for Employment and Production created by the new Solís administration shows that there is still a belief that public officials know how to produce wealth.


The Costa Rica entrepreneurs' opinion is convincing: the Union of Chambers states that "employment is not generated by decree, but through policies which improve the business climate" ...

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