Threats to Port Competitiveness

Panamanian businessmen warn that the bills advancing in the National Assembly concerning health and safety standards for work in ports, put at risk the competitiveness of the country.

Monday, October 14, 2019

The National Assembly approved in first debate the bill number 92, "which creates the law on health and safety in port works in the Republic of Panama". Another one that also surpassed the first discussion was number 93 "that dictates norms for the protection of the port worker."

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Faced with this situation, the Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture of Panama (CCIAP), considers that the country's competitive position is at risk "to the provisions of two bills that address the port sector and are for discussion in the second debate of the National Assembly."

From the ICCAP statement:

Panama has worked hard to position itself as a logistics hub in the region, attracting customers worldwide by the competitiveness of its sea ports, free trade zones and air terminals, among other resources and infrastructure it has.

Our union considers that this competitive positioning is put at risk before the stipulated in two bills that address the port sector and are for discussion in the second debate of the National Assembly.

These bills raise issues that transcend the port industry, affecting commercial and logistics activities fundamental to the national economy, and have proved to be pillars of the same, maintaining positive numbers at a time when other sectors are depressed.

The Chamber of Commerce, Industries and Agriculture of Panama, as a responsible business guild, understands and shares the need to ensure the safety and welfare of port workers; however, in addressing such sensitive issues, we believe that these legislative initiatives require broad consultation with all sectors involved. For this reason, it is prudent that they be returned to the first debate so that they can be discussed and analyzed in depth in a technical subcommittee designated by the Commission on Labor, Health and Social Development of the Legislative Branch.

From the Chamber of Commerce, Industries and Agriculture of Panama we appeal to the good judgment of the deputies in terms of producing beneficial laws for the country that watch over the citizenship, but that consider the economic model that has allowed our growth with the participation of private investment.

Jorge Juan de la Guardia. CCIAP President.



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