Sustainable economic growth, regulation of public finances and record collection of tax revenues during 2017, among other achievements, were highlighted today by Minister of Economy Dulcidio De La Guardia, in a report before the Panamanian Parliament.
De La Guardia presented before the Economy and Finance Commission of the National Assembly (AN-Parliament) his 2017 management report and the main achievements of the Ministry of Economy and Finance (MEF), the entity said.
He highlighted that according to the projections of the MEF and multilateral organizations, Panama grew by 5.4 percent in 2017.
He also reported that according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) the country will need to reach the highest Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per capita in Latin America and the Caribbean, displacing Chile that has maintained it for the last 16 years.
Last January, the minister of economy highlighted the 5.6 percent growth projected for 2018 by the World Bank (WB), the highest in Latin America and the Caribbean, and he regarded it as good news.
"Panama will be the fastest growing country in Latin America. There are still good economic news," De la Guardia wrote on January 12, on Twitter, concerning the World Bank's forecast in the semi-annual report that the organism presented this week.
In the document the World Bank revealed that it estimated that Panama's GDP grew by 5.5 percent in 2017, which will increase by 5.6 percent in 2018 and 2019, and 5.7 percent in 2020.
In his report presented to the AN today, De La Guardia explained that sustainable economic growth has occurred with low inflation, while the order of public finances has been conducted with tax discipline and in compliance with the Law of Fiscal Social Responsibility (LRSF).
Regarding the total balance deficit adjusted to December 2017, he said that it was of 602 million dollars or 1 percent of GDP, complying once again with the Law of Fiscal Social Responsibility.
He also highlighted the strengthening and modernization of the General Directorate of Revenue (DGI), which resulted in a "record collection" of tax revenues in 2017 for 5,687 million dollars.
The 2017 estimate included tax revenues for 5.875 million dollars, according to preliminary data provided by De La Guardia on February 7.
Regarding current savings, De La Guardia revealed that it showed positive results and contributed to finance 73 percent of public investments, which implies a lower need for debt.