Free Essay

Political, Economic, and Social Development of Panama

In: Social Issues

Submitted By crivera60
Words 1352
Pages 6
Political, Economic, and Social development of Panama

Panama’s political development: Panama has made notable political and economic progress since the December 1989 U.S. military intervention that ousted the military regime of General Manuel Antonio Noriega from power. Since that time, the country has had five successive civilian governments, with the current government of President Ricardo Martinelli of the center-right Democratic Change (CD) party elected in May 2009 to a five-year term (Sullivan, 2012). Until the May 2009 Presidential election, the fight for political power in Panama had been essentially limited to the Partido Revolucionario Democrático (PRD) and the Partido Panameñista (PP) (Economics, 2012). Both of these parties are on the right of the political spectrum and made up of elites that move smoothly between business and politics depending on the opportunities at hand (Panama, 2012) Moscoso Government (1999-2004) In her second bid for the presidency, Arnulfista Party (PA) candidate Mireya Moscoso was victorious in the May 1999 elections. President Moscoso, a coffee plantation owner and Panama’s first female president, ran as a populist during the campaign, promising to end government corruption, slow the privatization of state enterprises, and reduce poverty. She also promised to ensure that politics and corruption did not interfere with the administration of the Canal. (Sullivan, 2012) Torrijos Government (2004-2009) In the May 2004 presidential race, Martín Torrijos of the PRD won a decisive victory with 47.5% of the vote. Torrijos spent many years in the United States and studied political science and economics at Texas A&M University. In the campaign, he emphasized anti-corruption measures as well as a national strategy to deal with poverty, unemployment, and underdevelopment. He was popular among younger voters and had a base of support in rural areas. Torrijos maintained that his first priority would be job creation. He called for the widening of the Canal, a project that would cost several billion dollars, and would seek a referendum on the issue. (Sullivan, 2012) Martinelli Government (2009-2014) Inaugurated on July 1, 2009, Martinelli is a businessman and former government minister. His electoral alliance, known as the Alliance for Change, also won a majority of seats in the unicameral National Assembly. The strength of President Martinelli’s CD grew significantly after the 2009 election because of defections from other parties, but the CD’s ruling alliance with the PP fell apart at the end of August 2011. President Martinelli sacked PP leader Juan Carlos Varela as Foreign Minister for allegedly neglecting his duties by spending too much time fostering his ambitions to run for President in 2014, while Varela maintains that the coalition fell apart because of policy differences related to transparency and accountability in the use of state resources. (Sullivan, 2012) Panama’s economic development: Although Panama is categorized by the World Bank as having an upper-middle-income economy because of its relatively high per capita income level of $7,910 (2011), one of the country’s major challenges is highly skewed income distribution with large disparities between the rich and poor. According to the U.N. Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean, Panama’s poverty rate was almost 37% in 2002, but declined to about 26% in 2009 and 2010. Extreme poverty or indigence in Panama also fell from 18.6% in 2002 to 11.1% in 2009, although it increased to 12.6% in 2010. In order to tackle poverty, the previous government of President Martin Torrijos (2004-2009) initiated a social support program of conditional cash transfers to poor families and the elderly living in extreme poverty. Since taking office, President Martinelli has fulfilled his campaign pledge to provide $100 a month to poor seniors. In May 2011, the World Bank approved a $100 million policy loan for Panama to help it strengthen fiscal management, improve tax collection, and expand key social programs. (Sullivan, 2012) Panama has seen a continuing economic expansion, a high rate of foreign investment, and a steady increase in property values over the last decade since the Americans handed over control of the Canal in 2000. The economic boom since then has translated to Panama’s Political Stability (Economic, 2012). Panama’s largely service-based economy has been booming in recent years, spurred on by the Panama Canal expansion project that begun in 2007 that is expected to be completed in 2015 (Sullivan, 2012). The democratic country of Panama has strong economic assets and is well governed which will exploit these assets to the good of its citizens and those wise enough to invest in Panama’s future. The Canal expansion will boost growth by an average of 1% in each of the next two years, which should partially offset the effects of a still weak U.S. economy. Economists predict and expect the economic growth in Panama to be around 4.5% in 2010 and 5.5% in 2011. Solid economic growth, enhanced tax collection, and spending restraint have helped improve the government’s fiscal position over the past few years. Fiscal improvements have helped reduce Panama’s public debt (domestic and external) from 70% of GDP in 2004 to an estimated 47% last year. In addition, good debt management has allowed the government to extend the average maturity of its obligations and reduce interest rates. Over the medium-long term, Panama’s economy will continue to benefit from its position as a major international hub. Further, the Canal expansion is expected to boost growth above potential until 2014. (Economic, 2012) Panama’s social development: In 2000, Panama had approximately 2.816 million inhabitants, 700,000 of whom lived in Panama City, with another 300,000 in the immediate suburbs (Moore, n.d.). The Social Security Fund, established by the government in 1941, provides medical service and hospitalization, maternity care, pensions for disability or old age, and funeral benefits. Retirement is set at age 62 for men, or age 57 for women. This program is financed by an alcohol tax, in addition to employee and employer contributions. Employed women receive 14 weeks of maternity leave at 100% pay. Compulsory workers' compensation legislation covers employees in the public and private sectors. This program is funded entirely by employer contributions. Despite constitutional equality, women generally do not enjoy the same opportunities as men. While Panama has a relatively high rate of female enrollment in higher education, many female graduates are still forced to take low-paying jobs. Women's wages are, on average, 20% lower than those of men. Until 1995, communal assets were not recognized in marriage, and many divorced women were left economically destitute. Women also face sexual harassment in the workplace, although it is prohibited by the Labor Code. Domestic violence remains a widespread problem. In 1998 the Ministry of Women, Youth, Family, and Childhood was established, helping focus national attention on social issues affecting women and families. Indigenous peoples in Panama are increasingly demanding more participation in decisions that affect their land. Semiautonomous status has been given to some tribal groups. Despite these provisions, many indigenous groups feel that existing reserves are too small. Human rights abuses include prolonged pretrial detention, poor prison conditions, and internal prison violence. (Social development, n.d.) References:
Economic & Political Stability in Panama | Live Invest Panama Real Estate. (2012, December). Panama Real Estate | Live Invest Panama Listings. Retrieved March 1, 2013, from http://liveinvestpanama.com/why-panama/economic-political-stability
Moore, A. (n.d.). Culture of Panama - history, people, women, beliefs, food, customs, family, social, dress. Countries and Their Cultures. Retrieved March 1, 2013, from http://www.everyculture.com/No-Sa/Panama.html
Panama: Economics. (2012, December). Export Development Canada (EDC). Retrieved March 1, 2013, from http://www.edc.ca/EN/Country-Info/Documents/panama.pdf
Social development - Panama - tax, problem, average, issues. (n.d.). In Encyclopedia of the Nations - Information about countries of the world, United Nations, and World Leaders. Retrieved March 1, 2013, from http://www.nationsencyclopedia.com/Americas/Panama-SOCIAL-DEVELOPMENT.html
Sullivan, M. P. (2012, November 27). Panama: Political and Economic Conditions and U.S. Relations. Federation of American Scientists. Retrieved March 1, 2013, from http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/row/RL30981.pdf

Similar Documents

Free Essay

Panama

...NegociosEscuela de Ingenieria Comercial | Economic development in Panama between 1995-2010 | Taller de Economía Empresarial | | José Venegas Rojas | | Professor: John Cobin Santiago, Chile 2013 I. - Introduction. The controlling purpose of this paper is to review the academic literature about the economic development of Panama between 1995-2010 in Panama City. Panama is among the twenty economies which have grown the most in the past ten years, according to the World Bank, which curiously matches giving ones the administration of the Panama Canal by the United States to Panama in 1999. Most of the buildings in Panama City were built around 2000 and in order to observe this change, the financial statements of the country when it still belonged to the United States, will be analyzed so that it can be possible to consider a factor in the economic development in this country. On December 31, 1999, at midday the Panama Republic took administrative control of the Panama Canal after a long process of negotiation which started in 1977 with the signing of the Treaty between the President Jimmy Carter from the United States and the Panama president Omar Torrijos. This Treaty stated that it was an important issue that Panama guaranteed the neutrality of the Canal. This step of command happened after almost eighty-five years of diplomatic negotiations between the US and Panama. Many Panamanians considered the administration of the Panama Canal as its Third......

Words: 4057 - Pages: 17

Free Essay

Latin America Essays

...discuss both economic and geo-political/security dimensions, and make reference to at least two historical periods, whether identified by particular doctrines, presidencies, or regimes of international relations. Current state of Latin Ameican international relations with the US— * Emerging independence from US—US is no longer the immediate partner of choice. Regional resentment of US perceived self-serving exercises of power * Economics: * Increased intra-regional economic integration—ALBA, UNOSUR * Expanding economic partners outside the hemisphere—China * Security: * States worry about subordination to the “gringos.” Address problems themselves or with immediate neighbors, rely less on US— * LatinAmerican presidents joined together to defuse tension between Colombia and Ecuador/Venezuela after Colombia’s March 2008 raid inside Ecuador * South American Defense Council (2008)—aimed at institutionalizing and coordinating “defense and security policies in the region while preventing and mediating conflicts within South America * United States: * Economic dependence on the region on the rise— * 50% of US energy imports (largest share accounted for by any region) * 32% of all US FDI * Environment, illegal drug trade, and immigration have intensified interdependence * Economic stronghold at risk * China—offers a path independent of US and liberal economic orthodoxy ...

Words: 6085 - Pages: 25

Free Essay

Ipad Pricing Strategies

...Business 604: Panama Ricky McNeal Liberty University Dr. Stephen Preacher October 5, 2012 Abstract Panama, a small country located in Central America, is very diversified in both its people and its climate. Considered to be the isthmus connecting South America to North America, Panama has played a key role in global transportation since the creation of the Panama Canal. The canal goes through the midsection of the country connecting the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, allowing for much faster sea travel. Because of its location, Panama has been heavily influenced by several countries including Colombia which they were ruled by until 1903 and the United States which played such a large role in the realization of the canal. These foreign influences can easily be found in Panama's cuisine, music, and artwork as well as all the tribes that have settled within the country. The culture and political structures of Panama as we know it today has evolved from an incredibly diverse and interesting history. Punctuality is appreciated by business people, as is giving your host enough time to plan for your arrival. Thus, you should make appointments at least one week in advance. When you meet with your Panamanian colleagues, a handshake is a normal greeting. Do not rush into a meeting with talk of business right away. Your associates are more likely interested in......

Words: 2972 - Pages: 12

Premium Essay

History

...MacMahon government attempted to restore the moral order of France. Encouraged the French people to repent for their last 75 years of sin. MacMahon moved away from social reforms such as Women’ rights, instead focused on religion and a return to moral purity in France. Used Priest to spread political platforms. Sieze Mai Crisis- The Seize Mai Crisis was brought about by the question of the role of the president. Could President MacMahon hire and fire Prime minster with out the permission of the Republican National Assembly? The National Assembly interpreted the constitution of 1875 in a different light than MacMahon. The Constitution of 1875 had established a week presidency and promoted a parliamentary system helping to bring an end to the royalist political force in France. Ferry Laws-Laws establishing a public education system in france. Jules Ferry as the Minister of education created a national education system. Basic schooling became maditory for children of all socio-economic background. Helped establish a sentiment of unity with in differing socio-economic groups. Teachers were require to get certified by the national bureau of education, removed church from the French educational system The ‘other trench’ Panama Canal Scandal – French Construction company is searching for funding to build Canal in Panama. Jewish contractors approach parliament asking for money to invest in Canal project. The proposal was rejected therefore the Jewish Contractor make under the......

Words: 1298 - Pages: 6

Premium Essay

The Progressive President of United States

...society. In fact, the United States has survived from several situations that should have brought them down to the crisis, but, the national political leaders such as Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson, who intense to the social and political changes in America, have successfully raised a betterment for the United States, especially in the period of Progressive movement (1890-1920). Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson were the national political leader that regarded as the Progressive president since they introduced dramatic political reforms in the United States. They establish several legislations that considered made the condition of America during the progressive era become better; more organized government, the new banking system, more control over the big business and monopolies, development of modern presidency, were some example of the progressive actions during the presidency era of Roosevelt' and Wilson'. Particularly, T.R. elevated the importance of his presidency by understanding the importance of the press corps and promote his own image as well as to promote the press of the policies in his presidency (Bauer 8). Meanwhile, Wilson enacted the progressivism by reducing the prohibitive tariffs, creating a major transformation of the banking system, and generating new stronger of trust in order to re-establish fair economic competition in the United States (Bauer 9). It just some examples of the significant actions they had established, in the following, will......

Words: 3856 - Pages: 16

Premium Essay

Age of Imperialism

...University of Phoenix Material American Imperialism Part 1 Complete the chart by identifying the following: • Identify the countries or areas where the United States engaged in imperialistic actions during the period from about 1870 to 1914. (Michele Stafford) • Discuss why each area was important to American empire building (political, economic, and social). - KRISTY • Explain America’s expansionist ideals. What were some of the factors that justified American imperialist actions? • Identify the current political status of these places in relation to the United States. Age of Imperialism: 1870 to 1914 Place (Michele Stafford) Why was there interest? (KRISTY) U.S. actions Status today Samoa America was interested in the small islands located across the Pacific. A territory of the United States/ Of American Samoa. http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/bgn/1842.htm Hawaii Expanding the American forces using the Island as a naval base, and entering the sugar can market allowing for the product to exported making a big profit. Small amount of white sugar planters revolted on 1893 with America’s military that would assist. August 18, 1959, Hawaii was admitted to the Union. Hawaii is a state. http://www.hawaii-nation.org/statehood.html Latin-America America wanted to take over the control of the outside business being conducted. America wanted to succeed in opening new businesses in and out of Latin America Many challenges remain,......

Words: 2874 - Pages: 12

Free Essay

Colombia and the Largest Gas and Oil Company Is South America:

...societies ranging from hunters and nomadic farmers to the highly structured economy of the Chibchas, who are considered to have been one of the most developed indigenous groups in South America. Santa Marta, the first permanent Spanish settlement, was founded in 1525. The city of Santa Fe de Bogota was founded in 1538 and, in 1717, became the capital of the Viceroyalty of New Granada, which included what are now Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador, and Panama. Bogota was one of three principal administrative centers of the Spanish possessions in the New World. On July 20, 1810, the citizens of Bogota created the first representative council to defy Spanish authority. Full independence was proclaimed in 1813, and in 1819 the Republic of Greater Colombia was formed to include all the territory of the former Viceroyalty of New Granada. Simon Bolivar was elected its first president with Francisco de Paula Santander as vice president. Conflicts between followers of Bolivar and Santander led to the formation of two main political parties, Liberal and Conservative. Bolivar's supporters, who formed the center of the Conservative Party, sought strong centralized government, alliance with the Roman Catholic Church, and a limited suffrage. Santander's followers, forerunners of the Liberals, wanted a decentralized government, state control over education and other civil matters, and broader voting rights. Throughout the 19th and early 20th centuries, each party held the......

Words: 7312 - Pages: 30

Premium Essay

U.S Expansionism

...Bat Agaoglu 9/25/2012 IR 376 Professor Kinzer Paper #1 1) I tell you what I am going to say- The 1890s saw an expansion on US imperialism of American territory, as a result of economic, political, and cultural factors with justifications on acquiring more land, power, and resources. Many Americans believed U.S had to expand to increase population, wealth, and industrial production which demanded more resources. So, therefore, US took control of other territories such as Hawaii, Cuba, and Panama to impose its own beliefs of government and culture on the people. The United States encouraged these territories to become independent from other nations so that they would be more beneficial to us. Although we freed these territories from their restraining governments, it was only in our own interest. It started during the 1840s with the manifest destiny which was used to warrant the expansionist movements of that time. Expansionist used the population growth and close frontier to support their intentions on conquering new territories. Expansion would lead to economic advantages such as trade with new colonies and Asia which at that time was becoming increasingly important to American economy in the late 19th century. Another argument expansionist used was to prevent other countries and colonies from gaining more land and they also felt the need to rival with the other imperialist countries. They had a desire to compete with Europe for overseas empires. The U.S. sought......

Words: 1287 - Pages: 6

Premium Essay

International Marketing

...Unit 1 Review Assignment 1. Explain the difference among these four types of economic systems. Give an example of a country that illustrates each type of system. Market capitalism is an economic system in which the price and productions of goods and services are determined by their availability and consumer demand rather than by government or state regulation. An example of market capitalism would be the United States’ mixed market economy from which goods are produced, bought, and sold with prices and production being determined by consumer demand with limited interference from government regulation. Centrally planned socialism differs from market capitalism in that the government or state determines what goods and services will be produced and consumers demand is not a significant focus. China would be an example of a country that uses this type of economic system, the states decide which goods consumers’ need and that is what is produced. Centrally planned capitalism is similar to centrally planned socialism in that the government or state determines what goods are to be produced, but allows private companies to produce them. Sweden is an example of centrally planned capitalism due to two-thirds of businesses being owned by the government, the remaining companies produce what is perceived to be needed. Market socialism differs from the other economic systems in that it is complete and self-regulating; production is communally owned and operated with......

Words: 1733 - Pages: 7

Free Essay

Colombia

...Colombia is a country located in the northern part of South America, bordering the Caribbean Sea, between Panama and Venezuela, and bordering the North Pacific Ocean, between Ecuador and Panama (The World Factbook). Colombia’s area is 1.14 million sq. km. (440,000 sq. mi.) and is about the size of California and Texas combined. Colombia is the fourth-largest country in South America. Colombia’s terrain is flat in the coastal areas, with extensive coastlines on the Pacific Ocean and Caribbean Sea, and it has three rugged parallel mountain chains, central highlands, and flat eastern grasslands. The climate tends to be tropical on the coast and eastern grasslands and cooler in the highlands (U.S. Department of State). Colombia’s natural resources include petroleum, natural gas, coal, iron ore, nickel, gold, copper, emeralds, and hydropower. Its natural hazards are that the highlands are subject to volcanic eruptions, occasional earthquakes, and periodic droughts. The volcano named Galeras is one of Colombia's most active volcanoes, having erupted in 2009 and 2010 causing major evacuations, it has been deemed a "Decade Volcano" by the International Association of Volcanology and Chemistry of the Earth's Interior, worthy of study due to its explosive history and close proximity to human populations. Volcano Nevado del Ruiz located west of Bogota, erupted in 1985 producing lahars that killed 23,000 people, the volcano last erupted in 1991. And the volcano called Nevado del Huila,......

Words: 2023 - Pages: 9

Premium Essay

Student

...to encourage railroad construction. Correct Which of the following developments was a key factor in the rise of the Gilded Age? a. The growth of industrialism in the United States. Correct Which of the following big businesses came to dominate American life in the second half of the nineteenth century? b. Railroading What was the purpose of vertical integration, which was pioneered by Andrew Carnegie in the late nineteenth century? c. Vertical integration placed three important business aspects under control of a company such as Andrew Carnegie's steel company; access and control of natural resources, control of manufacturing, and lastly the marketing of finished products. Correct Carnegie Steel Company achieved tremendous productivity and profits by Andrew Carnegie insisting on b. forcing employees to work long hours under extremely dangerous conditions for very low pay. Correct To what did the term solid South refer in the decades after Reconstruction? a. The states of the old Confederacy, which voted Democratic in every election for over seventy years. What was the outcome of the belief among white southerners that black men were a threat to white women in the South in the late nineteenth century? b. An increase in the number of lynchings of black men in the south. Correct According to Ida B. Wells, lynching was a problem rooted in a. economics and the shifting of social structure of the South. Correct President James A. Garfield......

Words: 1357 - Pages: 6

Free Essay

China

...China’s Peaceful Rise to Dominance The current state of the globe has seen many changes in the past few decades. The global political structures have shifted and turned to provide a new landscape where substantial evolution has and will continue to occur. The purpose of this essay is to argue and prove that China will rise to power in a peaceful manner throughout the 21st century. This paper will first explain the current situation, which has left China in position to become a global leader as the new century unfolds. The essay will also examine military, economic and social issues that may positively contribute to this change and lead this Asian country to a new significant posture within the geo-political realm of international relations. The Rise of China towards the 21st Century Technology and communication improvements have changed the world for good. With new developments in these areas, the world has become much smaller and navigable in many ways when discussing China and their current rise to global prominence in recent times. The end of the Cold War which saw a bipolar world develop into a unipolar world has created opportunity for other powerful nations to step in and play a key role in global events that are unfolding. China’s massive population and natural resources have continued to organize and be directed towards more powerful means. Chinese leaders have seen this coming for years as the country began opening up to global interests in the 1970’s. As......

Words: 1363 - Pages: 6

Premium Essay

International Business

...markets among its member countries and enhance their competitiveness in the wider world. 2 Member Countries T h e Pa c i f i c A l l i a n c e Mexico Colombia Peru Chile 3 Finland United Kingdom Netherlands Germany France Switzerland Italy Canada Turkey People's Republic of China Japan Republic of Korea United States of America Honduras Guatemala El Salvador Dominican Republic Costa Rica Panama Spain Portugal Morocco Israel India Singapore Ecuador Australia Paraguay Uruguay New Zealand Member-Candidate countries The Pacific Alliance Observer Countries T h e Pa c i f i c A l l i a n c e Costa Rica Panama 4 Objectives of the Pacific Alliance: To build, through participation and consensus, an area of deep integration that will move progressively forward towards the free circulation of goods, services, capital and persons. To dynamize growth, development and competitiveness in the economies of the Parties, in order to achieve greater welfare, overcome socioeconomic disparities and secure social inclusion in their societies. To become a platform for political articulation, economic and commercial integration, and projection to the world, especially to Asia-Pacific. The Alliance has a comprehensive agenda, determined by results already achieved in trade, in joint and coordinated action between promotion agencies, cooperation to strengthen the competitiveness and innovation of SMEs, research in climate change, student and academic mobility and the facilitation......

Words: 1960 - Pages: 8

Premium Essay

Columbia

...paramilitaries are engaged in a peace process. Colombia still has a lot of violence, poverty, and is the center of the world cocaine trade. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colombia) The Republic of Colombia, named for the explorer Christopher Columbus, is located in northwestern South America. It is bordered by Panama and the Caribbean Sea to the north, Venezuela and Brazil to the east, Peru and Ecuador to the south, and the Pacific Ocean to the west. Colombia is the fourth largest country in South America and one of the continent's most populous nations. The capital of Colombia is Bogota. Colombia has substantial oil reserves and is a major producer of gold, silver, emeralds, platinum and coal. Colombia is one of the most dangerous places in the world for journalists to work. Media workers face intimidation by drug traffickers, guerrillas and paramilitary groups. More than 120 Colombian journalists were killed in the 1990s, many for reporting on drug trafficking and corruption. Colombia has a highly stratified society where the traditionally rich families of Spanish descent have benefited from this wealth to a far greater degree than the majority, mixed-race population. This gap in social class has provided a natural cause for the left-wing insurgents. (Worldmark Encyclopedia of the Nations, Gale Research, Page 129) Approximately 1 million native people lived in Colombia before the arrival of the Spaniards. The Spaniards arrived in the early 1500s. Rodrigo de Batidas......

Words: 2031 - Pages: 9

Free Essay

Fdi Attraction of Costa Rica

...------------------------------ Costa Rica: A brief study on public FDI facilitation by means of trade agreements and future political adjustments. Abstract Being probably the most economically-advanced countries within the region of Central America, Costa Rica is a very interesting example of a how a developing country would manage and regulate its economic growth and stability, much thanks to its unique regime to attract and allocate FDI efficiently. Despite having little natural endowments and regional advantages, Costa Rica has ever since been the economic vanguard among the Latin America community for the last past half decade, with remarkable level of development within knowledge-intensive industries. Furthermore, the country’s early acceptance and adoption of various trade liberalization schemes have created a destination that a number of economists have been referring as ‘investment haven’ for exported products and services. The case of Costa Rica, henceforth, is exemplary for developing countries, not only in regard to attracting pure FDI, but also supervising its spillover effects as a means to stimulate the economy. This paper does not quantify in detail the effects, but rather focuses on a sweeping analysis on Costa Rica’s political historical and possible future approaches in FDI facilitation and administration. I. Introduction In term of historical economic development, Costa Rica started off as any third-world countries, being a major exporter of......

Words: 3459 - Pages: 14