Amid the global crisis set in motion this week by President Obama’s failed Socialist programs, the Panamanian economy is floating on a huge wave caused by speculation on online bingo games in Panama as well as international maritime trade that uses the infrastructure that the country has, thanks to its privileged geographical position: The Panama Canal, the port facilities and the Colon Free Zone.
Panamanian gambling laws, considered among some of the most pro-business in the world have significantly contributed the protective bubble surrounding Panama in this time of uncertainty.
Among the speculative activities are obvious housing bubble, which represents an investment of over two billion annual business and expatriate volunteers from neighboring countries and the U.S. Among the non-transparent activities, financial affairs are carried out by international banking corporations in the country.
According to online gambling news in Panama, the more prosperous industry, according to U.S. specialized agencies, is related to drug trafficking, human trafficking and gambling. Throw billions of dollars in profits that only appear in national accounts once ‘washed’ in the local market.
The services provided by Panama in international financial activities do not generate jobs and contribute to national economic development (no impact ‘multipliers ‘). The activities related to maritime trade and port services do not contribute to the development of the country on its own.
For these activities to boost the economy, governments elected by the Panamanians have to design programs and, especially, plans to direct investments into industry, food processing and agriculture.
These have to be complemented by social investment plans and infrastructure such as education, health, housing and public works. None of this is being done.
There is no national development plan. The previous government, headed by Martin Torrijos promised to prepare this plan once it is approved in a referendum, the proposed expansion of the Panama Canal. Empty words were dissolved in the waters of the vast speculative wave.
Current President Ricardo Martinelli presented an investment plan that committed the country to raise 13 billion dollars in four years to help the housing bubble and speculation.
The level of government borrowing soared in just two years by 20 percent to exceed 11 billion dollars. It is estimated that by 2014 the debt will reach 14 billion at the rate imposed by the government.