Business execs seek transparency in Ports contract extension

818Views 3Comments Posted 02/07/2021

A day after President Cortizo  presented  his report to the nation while glossing over the renewal of the Panama Ports contract    the Panamanian Association of Business Executives (Apede) joined the voices that ask the Government for greater transparency and analysis of the automatic extension of the 25-year contract

Through a statement, released on July 2, the business union indicated that "there are no clear sources of information that define whether specialized audits have been carried out, which show that investments have been made in the port terminals concessions."

It gave as an example, the need for ports for vessels of greater draft, as this influences the competitive position in the maritime service.

It also considered that the audits should be carried out by independent entities, especially those specialized in port matters, “that verify compliance with the agreement; a process that must be executed with total transparency ”.

In the opinion of Apede members, there is no impediment for the Government to continue negotiating with the company "in order to reach new conditions that represent benefits for the Panamanian State."

"It is essential to clarify what will be the mechanism through which the new agreements will be incorporated into the current Contract Law," the statement added.

On June 23, the Panama Maritime Authority (AMP) authorized the automatic renewal of the contract with PPC to operate the ports of Balboa and Cristóbal for another 25 years.