Panama Articles & Analysis

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Since its emergence from the ocean to unite North and South America, Panama has been the preferred crossroad of the Western Hemisphere. During the Spanish colonial period the fairs of Portobelo, located on the country’s Atlantic Coast, were very popular. Merchants from all over both continents visited them to sell and showcase their products. At that time, Panama was...

What areas of public health care are you prioritising? What role can the private sector play?

Despite a number of setbacks, Panama’s health care sector has seen significant advancement in recent years. The former administration of Ricardo Martinelli oversaw a period of significant infrastructure expansion, and the country is closer than ever to achieving universal coverage. Elected in May 2014, the current government of Juan Carlos Varela has stated its...

A shortage of skilled workers remains one of the most commonly voiced concerns of business professionals in Panama. The World Economic Forum’s (WEF) “Competitiveness Report 2014-15” lists an inadequately educated workforce as the second-most problematic factor in doing business in the country. With the skills shortage having an impact on the labour market, authorities...

Despite notable achievements in the past decade, including reaching universal coverage at primary level, Panama’s education sector continues to face a number of challenges. Curricular reform introduced in 2010 has increased pertinence and retention rates. At the tertiary level, the strengthening of the accreditation process for universities has also brought about...

On July 29, 2014, soon after assuming office, the government of Juan Carlos Varela unveiled a multimillion-dollar plan to revive the agricultural sector at the National Agriculture Institute (Instituto Nacional de Agricultura, INA). The plan, known as pacto nacional por el agro, or the national pact for agriculture, proposes 10...