Friday, April 29, 2016

Cosco Shipping Corporation´s Ship Andronikos selected to be the first vessel to pass through the new expanded Panama Canal

Cosco Shipping Corporation´s Ship Andronikos selected to be the first vessel to pass through the new expanded Panama Canal. The Andronikos, a Marshall Islands-flagged container ship belonging to the China Cosco Shipping Corporation (COSCOCS), a Chinese state-owned group, was selected by lottery among the Panama Canal Authority's 15 largest clients.

The Chinese-owned freighter will be the first vessel to pass through Panama's newly expanded canal, to be inaugurated with great pomp in June after nine years of work, officials said Friday.

China is the second-biggest user of the canal, which provides easy passage between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans by cutting across the narrow Central American isthmus.

The 80-kilometer (50-mile) canal has been widened at an estimated cost of more than seven billion dollars to triple its capacity by allowing bigger bulk carriers to cross through.

The aim is to greatly boost the annual revenue Panama collects in shipping passage fees, currently worth a billion dollars.

Some five percent of world maritime traffic travels through the canal, with an average 35-40 ships passing through every day.

President Juan Carlos Varela is set to host an inauguration ceremony on June 26 to which 70 foreign heads of state and government have been invited.

COSCOCS is the world's fourth-largest operator of container ships.

The brand-new Andronikos can carry up to 9,400 containers and is 300 meters long and 48 meters wide (980 feet by 160 feet). It will enter the canal from the Atlantic Ocean side and cross to the Pacific. A smaller Japanese freighter, the Linden Pride, is set to travel the canal next the following day.


The United States -- which built the original canal a century ago and kept strategic control until 1977 -- is the biggest user of the canal by tonnage.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Panamá Pacífico wants to have its own First Base Operators for Executive Flights

Panamá Pacífico wants to have its own First Base Operators for Executive Flights. Panamá Pacifico will soon participate in the bidding process for Executive Flight First Base Operators.

As the Panama Pacífico Airport (former Howard Air Force Base) is now the second in importance in the Republic of Panama, it is becoming increasingly attractive for companies that want to offer Private Executive Flights from Panama. Currently, there are 7 companies that are interested in setting up business in that area, just minutes away from Panama City.

The Master Plan for the Special Area also includes improvements for the Terminal, Plane Maintenance and more space for those who will be assigned the business, according to Mr. Frankin Carrillo, Executive Vice President of Tocumen International Airport (TIA) which is the authority that regulates all the 4 airports in Panama. He has also stated that this year alone there have been around 1.28 million passengers coming to the country, an increase of 6% over the same period last year.

Panama Pacífico Airport has also been a less expensive alternative to companies like VIVA COLOMBIA and other private operators that have chosen their venues recently.

However, there are other airports in the country that compete with Panama Pacifico. Among them, the Marcos Gelabert Airport (formerly Albrook Base), which have already started their own FBO with the company FLY EXECUTIVE which since 2015 is offering executive flying in their own jets from the airport which is located inside the city.

Fly Executive uses Embraer Phenom 100 airplanes which are perfect for the small airstrip. Fly Executive is a venture started by local investors, but it has open a line of business that other operators, especially those located outside of Panama, want to replicate in Panamá Pacifico as soon as the Airport allows them to get into the bidding process.


Another airport which can offer the same kind of facilities and compete for the business is the RIO HATO Airport, however, this one is located 2 hours from Panama City, and caters to different clientele. Nevertheless, many are now thinking that there can be a network of internal FBOs in Panama, to transfer them nationally, and not only international, as the initial business model has been conceived.

The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf® Opens At Tocumen International Airport in Panama

The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf® Opens At Tocumen International Airport in Panama. The iconic U.S. coffee and tea retailer's fifth Panama City store location is now serving signature handcrafted beverages to locals and tourists at the international travel hub.

The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf®, the oldest and largest privately held specialty coffee and tea retailer in the U.S., opens its newest store location at the Tocumen International Airport in the heart of Panama City, Panama. The Tocumen International Airport is the fifth The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf® location in the Central American city of Panama with local area developer Premium Café. Two additional store locations are planned to open in Costa Del Este and the Royal Blue Plaza in Via Porras later this year.

"We are excited to share our premium coffee and tea products with travelers in Panama," says General Manager Jose Mendez. "From the Original Ice Blended® drinks to tea lattes, now visitors traveling to and from Tocumen International Airport can sip on their favorite signature The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf® beverage as they journey to their final destination."

Founded in Los Angeles in 1963, The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf® has served coffee and tea lovers for more than 50 years. Operating over 1,000 stores globally, The Coffee Bean collectively serves more than 110 million coffee and tea beverages each year and over 25,000 Ice Blended® drinks a day.

The brand's impressive growth trajectory around the globe spanning 2015 includes the introduction of new stores in the territory of Japan. Additionally, The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf® remains deeply committed to its Southern California home market, commemorating its 1,000th store opening milestone in Los Angeles in June 2015. The momentum continues into 2016, with the first store opening in China in March and plans to open over 700 stores across China over the next 10 years.

About The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf®

Born and brewed in Southern California since 1963, The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf® is the oldest and largest privately-held specialty coffee and tea retailer in the United States. Embodying a passion for connecting loyal customers to one another with carefully handcrafted products, the company is known for sourcing and providing the finest ingredients and flavors from around the world. For more than 50 years, The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf® has demonstrated a passion for product innovation epitomized by The Original Ice Blended® drink. The company has grown to be an international icon and currently has more than 1,000 stores spanning across 30 countries.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Praxair acquires Geneva Industrial gases in Panama

Praxair acquires Geneva Industrial gases in Panama. Praxair, Inc. (NYSE:PX) announced today that it has acquired  Geneva Industrial Gases in Panama. With this acquisition, Praxair is growing geographic density and strengthening its ability to efficiently supply customers. Financial terms of the transactions were not disclosed.

“Through prudent capital allocation, we continue to deliver on our strategy of capitalizing on acquisition opportunities in our core geographies while also expanding our exposure to more resilient end-markets, like healthcare.”

Praxair acquired Geneva Industrial Gases, a well-established company that provides gases for industrial and medical purposes as well as for the metal fabrication segment.

“These synergistic acquisitions will contribute profitable growth and reinforce Praxair’s integrated business model,” said Steve Angel, chairman and chief executive officer of Praxair. “Through prudent capital allocation, we continue to deliver on our strategy of capitalizing on acquisition opportunities in our core geographies while also expanding our exposure to more resilient end-markets, like healthcare.”

About Praxair


Praxair, Inc., a Fortune 250 company with 2015 sales of $11 billion, is the largest industrial gases company in North and South America and one of the largest worldwide. The company produces, sells and distributes atmospheric, process and specialty gases, and high-performance surface coatings. Praxair products, services and technologies are making our planet more productive by bringing efficiency and environmental benefits to a wide variety of industries, including aerospace, chemicals, food and beverage, electronics, energy, healthcare, manufacturing, primary metals and many others.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Second Latin American Diamond and Jewelry Week to take place in Panama, June 21 to 23

Second Latin American Diamond and Jewelry Week to take place in Panama, June 21 to 23. Buyers and suppliers of jewelry, diamonds and colored gemstones from more than 20 countries in Latin America and around the world will gather at the World Jewelry Hub in Panama City from June 20 to June 23 for the Second Latin American Diamond and Jewelry Week.

A commercial and networking event that is specifically designed to bring together players from both the regional and global trades, the week will also spotlight the growing role of Panama in the jewelry and gemstone business.

Established as the only dedicated gemstone and jewelry trading center in all of Latin America, and home to the region's only recognized diamond exchange, the World Jewelry Hub registered about $140 million worth of turnover in its first 10 months of operation.

Among the highlights being planned for the Second Latin American Diamond and Jewelry Week are the first major diamond and gemstone auction to be held in Latin America, and the first meeting of Latin American Women in the Jewelry Industry. There will also be a roundtable discussion led by a leading economist, which will look at issues facing the industry and economies of Latin America and the world, WJH reported.


The World Jewelry Hub, the only dedicated gemstone and jewelry trading center in all of Latin America, registered about $140 million worth of turnover in its first 10 months of operation.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Japan Bank for International Cooperation to finance US$2.6b monorail in Panama

Japan Bank for International Cooperation to finance US$2.6b monorail in Panama. Japan early this week  agreed to finance a US$2.6 billion monorail Panama intends to have built by 2022 as an extension of its young metro system, the Panamanian government said.

"This financing Japan is giving us today is recognition of the solidity and credibility of Panama," a statement quoted President Juan Carlos Varela saying during a visit to Tokyo.

The Japanese credit for the monorail is a 20-year deal extended through the government-backed Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JICA).

A memorandum of understanding was signed in January and Varela's trip to Tokyo sealed the agreement with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

The cost of the monorail project makes it the biggest in Panama after a massive expansion of its century-old canal, which is to be inaugurated in June after an investment of over US$5 billion.

The monorail will constitute a line three to Panama's new metro network, opening up a 26km run between the capital and Arraijan, a town in the west.


While Japan will stump up for the project, a public tender will go out to select the company or consortium to build the line.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Scotiabank’s Panama business rooted in the ‘real economy’, CEO Brian Porter says

Panama / Panama. Scotiabank’s Panama business rooted in the ‘real economy’, CEO Brian Porter says. CEO Brian Porter said Scotiabank has made investments in technology and training, and takes vigilance for such activities very seriously given the bank's broad "footprint" that covers operations in North America, Latin America and the Caribbean.

Bank of Nova Scotia has been operating in Panama since 1974, but Brian Porter, the chief executive, says Canada’s third-largest bank isn’t doing the type of banking that would put it in the thick of the recent controversy surrounding the Panama Papers.

“I took a course on AML (anti-money-laundering) and anti-corruption last week,” he said. “All employees have to do that throughout the bank, and it’s a question of awareness and keep driving home the message, and having robust protocols and processes in place, which we do.”

Scotia’s operations in Panama are concentrated primarily in personal and commercial banking. The bank closed a wealth centre there last year, about five years after boosting the operation with the purchase of a local wealth management business from BNP Paribas in 2010.

“We’ve been in Panama since the mid-70s… we followed our customers there,” Porter said. “We help households with their financial needs.”

On the commercial side, Scotia has helped finance a Canadian company developing a mine in Panama, he said. The bank also helped finance the expansion of the Panama Canal. “That’s the type of bank we run in Panama – we bank the real economy,” Porter said.


The recent focus on the Central American country is continuing to cause ripples.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

OnQ University Launches in Panama

Panama, Panama / OnQ University Launches in Panama. Healthcare labor outsourcing and contact center offers first-ever continuing education program. OnQ, an emerging leader in healthcare global labor outsourcing, announced recentl the launch of its Panama-based training and continuing education program, OnQ University – the first of its kind in the industry. This credit-based quarterly education program affords OnQ associates the opportunity to improve relevant job skills such as customer service, linguistics, organizational and communication skills and more.

OnQ  announced recently its Panama-based training and continuing education program, OnQ University.

OnQ University was created to support OnQ’s continued growth and bolster its laser focus on quality through employee training and development. Inaugural courses held in January 2016 were marked by a 67% participation rate. U.S. healthcare experts, working alongside OnQ’s training staff, led the sessions. Classes focused on developing associates’ knowledge of U.S. healthcare consumers and strategies for mastering phone skills and rapport with callers.

“The focus on efficiency is common in outsourcing relationships and, while you can train associates on efficiency, it shouldn’t stop there,” said OnQ President Thomas Mathews. “OnQ focuses on the human element by providing opportunities for our associates to further their education, personal and professional development. We believe this is one of the many reasons our retention rates surpass typical industry rates.”

OnQ’s labor outsourcing solutions combine significant industry experience and global resources to improve processes and lower operating costs. A full suite of healthcare labor services, highlighted by healthcare’s first patient services call center, is available to maximize efficiency across the entire revenue cycle.

About OnQ

Headquartered in Houston, Texas, OnQ brings together an intelligent and cost-effective labor source, revenue cycle expertise and improved insights through its BI tool, ClearView. And, U.S. healthcare billing experts manage this process on-site in Panama. The company is built with commitment to a single guiding vision: To be the most trusted global partner, delivering solutions that improve business service processes, yielding unimaginable benefits for its customers. Learn more at www.onqoc.com, 

Monday, April 4, 2016

Tocumen to issue tenders for commercial space in August

Panama, Panama / Tocumen to issue tenders for commercial space in August. Tocumen International airport has released that tenders for the commercial space in its new south terminal (T2) including duty-free are due to be issued in August.

The commercial space in the new T2 spans 9,000sq m with two duty-free areas around 1,500sq m each planned. Grupo Wisa and Motta Internacional are the incumbent duty-free operators.

Tocumen was originally due to go to tender in 2015, but delays have slowed the process. Commercial vice-president Franklin Carillo said recently: “We had to redesign some areas to make both terminals function as a whole. The offices and some spaces had to go through a redesign; because growth envisaged at the time is disproportionate to the understanding we have now. We are also defining the commercial model.”

Interest has already been garnered from the likes of Dufry Group and Gebr Heinemann for the duty-free tenders, indicated Carillo. “Indeed, the high level of consumption by passengers transiting through Tocumen has attracted interest from several companies and brands looking to position their global markets in Central and South America and the Caribbean.”


Regarding the T2 tender opportunity, Carillo added: “Tocumen currently has a large duty-free zone with modern shops from international luxury brands, which is an excellent commercial showcase. This is why this model will be replicated in the new T2; with the aim of providing greater opportunities for travellers.”