The recent unexplained disbanding of the committee set up to examine bids for Panama’s $ 1 billion-plus fourth bridge across the canal has set alarm bells ringing in Panama’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Cciap).
"Legal security is a significant component of a country's competitiveness, and determinant in attracting foreign investments, as is the case of Panama with a view to the need to generate new and growing sources of employment ", said the Chamber in a Sunday, June 23 release calling for the safeguarding of "our competitiveness as a country".
The organization said that the Global Competitiveness Index 2017-2018, published by the World Economic Forum, reflected "how the country has lost competences in areas that were once pillars of our strengths ".
"Let's be careful, let's not transform the legal security index into one of the worst qualified, with public tenders of national interest that leave many questions unanswered serving to arouse poisonous suspicions, " said Cciap
“In this, the country needs to know, if there are, anomalies to investigate and demand responsibilities for them”, it added.
"What is the point of organizing these processes, establishing rules of the game supposedly characterized by seriousness and transparency; summon potential investors; standardize participation criteria, and appoint evaluating committees composed of prestigious professionals, if then, surprisingly, they turn out the board to return to the point of departure from scratch?" the text reads.
The Chamber urges compliance with the rulings of the Supreme Court in relation to multi-million investment projects, whose execution depends on state officials with repeated failures of justice.
What is the difference between a poisonous suspicion and a regular suspicion? If you have a suspicion of wrongdoing and express it, do they poison you?
Is there a 'legal security index' that is part of the Global Competitiveness Index? If so, how has Panama's status changed since the last time the index was released?