Panama must decentralize investments and develop the West, says CAF

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  • Wed, 06/06/2018 - 12:28
Felipe Ariel Rodríguez, Pdte Centro de Competitividad de la Región Occidental de la CAF
  • Felipe Ariel Rodríguez, Pdte Centro de Competitividad de la Región Occidental de la CAF - Photo: EFE

The president of the Center for Competitiveness of the Western Region of CAF, Felipe Ariel Rodríguez, participated on Tuesday, June 5, 2018, at the inauguration of the II Regional Investment Forum for Territorial Development 2018, in Panama City (Panama). The Development Bank of Latin America.

CAF promoted today the business opportunities offered by the western region of Panama by highlighting that 80% of the country's wealth is concentrated around the Canal, a situation that accentuates inequality and that in the long run can generate social conflicts.

"When development is concentrated in one area, development is highly inequitable, and this can bring problems in the future, relatively homogeneous societies do not have major problems, which brings social conflicts are inequalities, in Latin America we know it well" , assured the representative of the multilateral organization in Panama, Susana Pinilla.

Pinilla stressed that Panama has focused in recent years on developing "exclusively" the so-called inter-oceanic axis, which extends along the Canal and covers the territory between the capital and the Caribbean city of Colon.

"Panama is much more than its capital city and the Canal, although Panama has the great fortune of having a stable economy and society, it is time to make the effort to integrate its regions and avoid future disappointments," he said.

The multilateral organization, together with other actors, promoted three years ago the creation of the Center for Competitiveness of the Western Region (Cecomro), a platform that seeks to attract public-private investments to that part of the country, where about half a million people live (12.5 percent of the total population).

The president of the center, Felipe Ariel Rodríguez, explained that the west is considered the pantry of the country because most of the food consumed in Panama comes out of it, however, in recent years it has suffered a massive exodus of people through the lack of opportunities in the countryside and the absence of a long-term agricultural policy.

"Panama is one of the most unequal countries in the world and that is due to its economic model, the services sector has developed along the interoceanic axis and the more remote provinces such as Chirquí and Bocas del Toro have been neglected. "he declared.

Rodríguez added that the development of the western region involves promoting tourism and the agricultural sector, as other countries in the region have done, such as Costa Rica, and for converting small producers into entrepreneurs.

The forum also included the participation of different companies from Mexico, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Spain and the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA). 

Source - EFE

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