Panama’s New Metro- They Said it Couldn’t be Done

Here is the new Metro as it started its maiden voyage. Image thanks to La Estrella

Here is the new Metro as it started its maiden voyage. Image thanks to La Estrella

Panama’s newly inaugurated Metro made its maiden run last Thursday, November 14, 2013. Line 1 (Linea Uno) made its first run starting from Plaza Cinco de Mayo in the heart of Panama City’s Calidonia District and ended in the Los Andes District in San Miguelito. With Panama’s President, Ricardo Martinelli, beaming a large grin sitting in the conductor’s cockpit, the well attended event had a jubilant and festive air. The President wasn’t alone by any means as his VIP entourage knew they were part of Panama’s history in the making. Continue reading

The “Dubai of Latin America?” Part II

The controversial hidro electric project at Barro Blanco (Panama) has prompted energetic opposition from the Indigenous Ngobe Bugle people who reside there with corresponding governmental repression.  Image.

The controversial hydro electric project at Barro Blanco (Panama) has prompted energetic opposition from the Indigenous Ngobe Bugle people who reside there with corresponding governmental repression. Image.

The Melting Pot

The geopolitical status and demographics in Panama and Dubai have few similarities. Both states have been naively labeled as “melting pots” but, as we may guess, this is an absurd and inaccurate term. The population of Panama since the last census is just over 3.5 million people, while Dubai is 2,103,177 million at last count and the greatest amount of growth has been seen in the last ten years. Continue reading

The “Dubai of Latin America?” Part I

F & F Tower, or “The Screw” (no pun intended), 6th tallest skyscraper in Panama.

Burj al-Arab in Dubai. Luxury hotel. Image thanks to jumeirah.com

Burj al-Arab in Dubai. Luxury hotel. Image thanks to jumeirah.com

These days in Panama as well as abroad, we are hearing the expression “The Dubai of Latin America” and I cannot help but smile and observe how most folks simply accept this notion without really questioning its veracity. First of all, many Panamanians of average intelligence and educational background cannot tell you where Dubai is and, secondly, they haven’t the foggiest notion as to how it is that Panama has come to be viewed as The Dubai of Latin America when a couple of years ago they never knew of the existence of this place. Continue reading

ICE Anyone?

MetroBus operation as well as work on the Metro (ride side of the photo) have started and added to the massive traffic jams.

Panama City’s skyline begins to tower profusely.

Banco General’s newest tower.

The Latin American Economic Climate Index, better known as El Indice de Clima Económico (ICE) en América Latina, a survey published by Fundación Getulio Vargas from the Brazilian Center for Economic Studies in association with the University of Munich published some interesting as well as heartening findings for business prospects in Latin America. Continue reading