Latest News from Panama!

January 2018
In this Edition
  • Panama Ship Registry classifies in Guinness Record.
  • New Law of Naval Financing comes into force.
  • New Minimum Wage.
  • Car Rental Bid for US $5 million.
  • Water System Bid for US $13 million.
  • Road Bids in West Panama for US $17.2 million.
  • The Modernization of the Panamanian Financial Sector under discussions.
  • More...

Guinness World Record for Largest Ship Registry 

The Guinness World Record Organization granted Panama the certification for “Largest Ship Registry in the World”, as it holds over 8 thousand ships, which represents around 18% of the world’s maritime fleet.  In the words of the Minister for Maritime Affairs, Barakat Pitty: “… the Panamanian flag is our national symbol with the greatest exposure across the seas of the world”.

Panama, reelected as Category A member of the IMO 

During the 30th session of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) Assembly, the Republic of Panama was reelected as a Category “A” member of the Council, with 152 votes in favor. This category includes only 10 countries, which are considered maritime powerhouses, such as: People’s Republic of China, Japan, Italy, Greece, the Republic of Korea, the Russian Federation, Great Britain, Norway, and the United States of America.

Ships with Panamanian flag benefit from preferential rates in China

The Maritime Cooperation Agreement with the People’s Republic of China, through which Panama was granted the status of “Most Favored Nation”, establishes that ships registered with a Panamanian flag will benefit from preferential rates upon arrival at Chinese ports.

Naval Financing Law enters into effect

The objective of Law 50 of June 28th, 2017 is to create an attractive investment environment so that financial entities that provide maritime financing establish themselves in Panama and begin to carry out their activities from our country.

The legislation seeks to create investment spaces to allow for shipyards that build large ships, thus promoting our logistical efficiency and establishing the bases for national maritime commerce.

For more details, read the article by our partner, Belisario Porras (click)  

Please refer to our specialists, for more details about the development of the maritime sector and the Ship registry in Panama,  María Teresa Díaz and  Belisario Porras.

The Ministry of Economy and Finance promotes the modernization of the financial sector

Currently, a new law proposal is circulating promoted by the MEF which includes the design of new financial products to improve local competitiveness while sticking to international transparency regulations. 


Among the topics analized are Fintech products, Crowdfunding, heritage management services, and life and savings insurance. The law proposal will be presented during the following legislative period. 

Members of Patton, Moreno & Asvat are actively involved in the discussions and analysis of this project.

Insurance Market grows 4% by the end of 2017

According to the General Comptroller of the Republic, between January and October of 2017, premiums increased by 4% relative to the same period in 2016, motivated by a 9% increase in health insurance plans, a 14% increase in collective life insurance, and a 4% increase in car insurance, although those for Other Transportation fell by almost 18%.

The Republic of Panama has one of the most active and diversified insurance sectors in the region. 
Like insurance, reinsurance and captive insurance, they are regulated services that offer significant tax advantages and position our country as a center with the highest potential for the establishment of captives throughout Latin America.

Extend on this and other topics of the Banking and Financial sectors with our lawyers Nadya Price and Khatiya Asvat. 

Minimum wage increase enters into effect 

As of January, the minimum wage for large businesses (more than 11 employees) increased by 6.5%, and for small businesses (up to 10 collaborators) it increased by 4.5%. The formula to calculate the minimum wage is: multiply the earned salary per hour by the number of hours the employee works and the weeks in the month. There are 33 rates for minimum wage in the country that are divided according to the region, activity, and size of the business.

Infrastructure works with the support of the Interamerican Development Bank

As part of the $62 million IDB loan to Panama, funds will be invested in rehabilitating the infrastructure of the Coiba National Park that was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.

In February, the Ministry of Public Works (MOP) will make a call to bid for the rehabilitation of 8.6 kilometers of the road towards Fort San Lorenzo, in the province of Colon.

$5 Million Bid Opens up for Car Rentals

Panama’s Ministry of the Presidency opens a bid for the service of renting different types of vehicles for the use of their personnel for a reference value of $4.6 million, open until January 26th 2018. 

$13 Million Bid for Water System

Proposals will be received until February 7th, 2018 for the study, design and construction of the new gravity fed water pipeline to the water filtration plant in Changuinola, Bocas del Toro.

The specialists in Public Contracting of Patton, Moreno & Asvat have a long history in privatization projects and government contracting.  Click here for more details.

Bid for Road Works in West Panama for $17.2 Million

$3.2 million bid is open until January 23rd, 2018 for the study, design and construction of the road to El Nanzal and the construction of the bridge for vehicles and pedestrians over Chame River. 

Also in west Panama, the Ministry of Public Works (MOP) has opened the call for bids to study, design, build and rehabilitate one lane from the main road towards the Port of Vacamonte to Veracruz. It includes the design of the future four-lane expansion. The reference value is $14 million, and the deadline for bid presentations is February 9th, 2018.

Patton, Moreno & Asvat Sponsors ICC PANARB 2018

Patton, Moreno & Asvat is pleased to sponsor the prestigious "ICC PANARB 2018" conference, co-organized by the International Court of Arbitration of the ICC and ICC Panama. ICC PANARB aims to analyze the main advances and novelties of arbitration in Latin America and the world. Entitled "How to achieve effectiveness in arbitration?: Sharing experiences of the ICC", will include the participation of Members of the Court of the ICC, who will perform a simulation of a session of the Court on the scrutiny of an arbitration award. Likewise, they will deal with topics such as the branching of the arbitration procedure, the use of technology in international arbitration and the New Report of the ICC on IT; as well as methods to achieve effective arbitration clauses.


We are waiting for you in Panama!.


Khatiya Asvat

Maximiliano Quintero

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