The Cortizo Era Begins

Laurentino Cortizo, who came to power after promising a campaign to reactivate the economy, make constitutional reforms and make structural changes in several entities, assumes the presidency of Panama on July 1.

Monday, July 1, 2019

Laurentino Nito Cortizo Cohen, a member of the Democratic Revolutionary Party, won the presidential elections by a narrow margin at the beginning of May, concentrating nearly 33% of the votes. Cortizo's electoral victory comes against a backdrop of Panama's economic slowdown, since in 2018 the country's Gross Domestic Product reported a 3.7% year-on-year growth, far from the increases of 11.3% and 9.8% reported in 2011 and 2012, respectively.

See "Panama Has a New President

The expectations for Cortizo's mandate to fulfill its promises are high, since one of its advantages is that in the National Assembly, 40 of the 71 deputies will be in his favor.

Jorge Juan de la Guardia, president of the Chamber of Commerce, Industries and Agriculture of Panama (CCIAP), believes that "... for example, the agricultural, commercial and industrial sectors, as well as tourism, need a dynamic boost that allows them to contribute their full potential to economic growth, an aspect that generally demands conditions that ensure our local and international competitiveness, from whose hands comes foreign investment, necessary to generate all the jobs we need."

The businessman adds that "... The separation of powers as a punctual definition of institutionalism; a complete independence of justice; the probity of officials, transparency and accountability on the part of the authorities, as well as honesty in the handling of public and private affairs, must be reinstated elements in the daily life of the country to recover a confidence that inspires all of us to perform with a sense of belonging and pride of nation."

One of the negative situations that the new administration will have to face is that Panama has returned to the list of nations that need to be supervised in the process of implementing measures to prevent money laundering and the financing of terrorism that was issued by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).

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Panama - Spain Agreement on Information Technology

February 2013

A memorandum of understanding has been signed for the development of the Information Society and the modernization of public administration in the Republic of Panama.

From a press release published by in Spain:

The CEO of, Borja Adsuara and general manager of the National Authority for Government Innovation in the Republic of Panama (AIG), Eduardo Jaen, have signed a memorandum of understanding for the development of the Information Society and modernization of public administration in the Republic of Panama.

New Proposals to the Salvadoran Fiscal Deficit

September 2011

Private business leaders have proposed freezing the hiring of public employees and broadening the tax base to include informal businesses, among other measures.

The National Association of Private Enterprise (ANEP), also suggests that the Executive reduce public expenditure by up to 10% on the purchase of goods and services.

Nicaragua: Public Processes will be Simplified

June 2009

The legislation that intends to simplify and expedite all the procedures of the public sector has passed to the National Assembly for its approval.

The initiative, which is based on the experience of the implementation of the ‘Ventanilla Única de Inversiones,’ already was approved by the Commission on Production, Economy and Budget, and mainly seeks to diminish the time and the costs designated for public processes.

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