Panamanian Comptroller guarantees financial viability of convention center

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  • Fri, 02/22/2019 - 17:17
Panamanian Comptroller guarantees financial viability of convention center
  • @freddyhumbert

The financial viability of the new convention center that is being completed in Panama on the shores of the interoceanic canal is "guaranteed", despite the fact that one of the contractors of the project is in "Bankruptcy", said the General Comptroller, Federico Humbert, on Thursday.

"The Panamanian State has a robust bond of 98 million dollars, which gives a guarantee to the Panamanian people that there is no penny here that is at risk because of the financial situation of one of the companies", said Humbert.

The Panamanian Construcciones Civiles Generales (Cocige) is "bankrupt" and is "subrogating" its obligations in the leading company of the construction consortium, China State Construction Engineering Corporation (CSCEC), added the official, who assessed the muscle of the Chinese giant and gave by practically ruled out the use of bail.

"On the financial side there is no need to fear", Humbert insisted in statements to the media during a tour of the center, which costs 195 million dollars, of which more than 136 million have already been disbursed to the contractor consortium.

The project, which was commissioned by the Tourism Authority of Panama (ATP) and will be operated by the US company SMG, is located on the banks of the Panama Canal, known as Calzada de Amador, and is designed to house more of 20,000 people and up to four simultaneous events.

The conventions are one of the main pillars in the country's tourism sector, which has a 10% representation in the Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

The comptroller also denied that "faults" have been found in the construction and design of the work, of which almost 85% have already been executed, and said that the engineers of the public institution calculate that the new center will be ready in June, six months after the original delivery date.

The center was tendered in 2012 by the previous government (2009-2014), but the Panamanian president, Juan Carlos Varela, decided to suspend works in January 2015 temporarily while investigating alleged irregularities.

The ATP decided a year later to rescind the contract with the first contractor group and resume the project with the consortium led by the Chinese company. 


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