Discover how the Panama Canal is managing current events and economic uncertainty to maintain its regular operations, and how the ongoing operations of the Panama Canal support the development of Panama.
The Panama Canal has over a hundred years of operations since its inauguration. The Panama Canal is vital for the continuous progress and development of the country with more than 10,000 employees.
In the last 19 years that the Panamanian government has managed the operations of the Panama Canal, it experienced a stable and great financial performance by providing direct contributions to the Panamanian National Treasury.
Therefore, is very important for the Panama Canal to maintain its operations.
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Measures to ensure business continuity for the Panama Canal
The Panama Canal has taken different measures to guarantee business continuity of its operations after the indefinite mandatory lockdown ordered by the Panamanian government to counter the spread of COVID-19 and safeguard its customers and employees.
The measures adopted by the Panama Canal to manage the current events are the following:
- The conformation of workforce groups with enough members to maintain safe operations and provide uninterrupted services to international trade.
- These teams will be transferred or transported in small groups to reduce the risk of infection.
- Operational shifts will be established to ensure that all workers are adequately rested.
- Cleaning and disinfection routines have been increased.
- Exhibition halls closed to avoid crowds.
- Prevention talks to collaborators, dealers, and contractors with a presence in the centers.
- Availability of liquid soap, alcohol gel and disinfectant sprays was reinforced.
- Suspension of guided tours and the projection of films in center rooms.
- Prevention messages at ticket offices and in the narration of the guides.
- Permanent communication with health authorities.
- Total closure of the visitor’s centers that are located in Panama City, Miraflores and Agua Clara in Colon province.
In summary, the Panama Canal as an autonomous entity has followed the recommendations of the Ministry of Health (MINSA) to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and continue business operations.
According to the Authority of the Panama Canal, the facility will continue to ensure the integrity and well-being of its workforce, while meeting its constitutional responsibility to maintain a continuous and safe service during the 365 days of the year.
Why is important to maintain operations in the Panama Canal?
The beneficial geographical position of Panama allows the country to connect international businesses that conducts activities in the Atlantic and the Pacific Ocean. The fastest way to cross between the two oceans is through the Panama Canal. The existence of the Panama Canal by itself encourages the development of business inside or outside the country because it facilitates the transportation of goods or persons throughout the world.
The contributions made by the Panama Canal to its own economy, either directly or indirectly, makes it one of the main engines for national development and a fundamental way for world trade, Countries such as the US or China are principal customers of Its services.
In 2019, The Panama Canal reported a total of 13,785 transits and a total of 468,779 net tonnes of goods transported. This amount represents a 6.3% increase of traffic in comparison with 2018.
How has the Panama Canal helped the development of Panama?
As mentioned, the Panama Canal is one of the primary engines that helps the continuous development and economic growth in Panama.
Thanks to the establishment and ongoing operations of the Panama Canal, the Panamanian government has established several special economic zones, such as Panama Pacifico or Colon Free Trade Zone. Within these areas, businesses can export and import goods with great tax, immigration, and Laboral benefits. In Panama, there are a total of twelve active free trade zones and six that are still in development. Panama Is the export hub of Latin America, because of its advantageous geostrategic position and the Panama Canal’s successful operation.
Additionally, these free trade zones attract investors looking to expand their business into the region, they take advantage of the benefits Panama has to offer while contributing to the overall economic growth of Panama.
Some companies that have decided to invest in Panama’s special economic zones are Dell, Samsung, Johnson & Johnson, DHL and much more. These companies can expand their business and receive special incentives and advantages of having the Panama Canal for their international trade business.
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Without any doubts, the Panama Canal has boosted the economy and the incorporation of companies in Panama.
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