Note: this is just a translation of a news article appearing in La Estrella de Panama newspaper in Panama on 26 July 2017. The article is authored by Mirta Rodriguez P. and is the property of La Estrella de Panama. The British Chamber of Commerce in Panama does not claim ownership of the contents of the article, just the translation presented below.
The association requests stricter migratory controls, and is in favour of the entrance of more qualified labour into Panama.
‘Panama does not need to import poverty, what it needs is good talent that provides good training to our people in order to compete’, pointed out the president of the Panamanian Association of Executives of Companies (Apede), Juan Gabriel González, with regards to the immigration policy of the country.
The topic will be debated today during the forum ‘Flexibility or restriction on labour migration. What do we need?’, that the association organised. “It cannot be that the person who watches my car or the hawker on the street corner is a foreigner”, said González, at the time that he requested more rigorous migratory controls.
The director of Economic Affairs of the Chamber of Commerce, Industries and Agriculture of Panama, Manuel Ferreira, said that in Panama it is necessary to make changes in terms of migratory controls, especially for the effects of the establishment of diplomatic relations with China.
‘We have to see how we are going to handle this topic if we want to attract investments, tourism or Chinese professionals to Panama. But everything has to be in balance with the Panamanian human capital. Not only do we have to develop as a country for foreigners, we also have to develop for all the Panamanians’, supported Ferreira.
Apede, says Gonzalez, is concerned that unfair competition and distortion in the market are caused by the hiring of illegal foreign workers, who are being paid below minimum wage.
Companies, whether Panamanian or foreign have to compete equally. This means that they should pay for social security and economic benefits owed. Otherwise, warned the entrepreneur, “They can’t compete.”
Gonzalez also referred to the need for the country to import talent. ‘What the country requires is to import knowledge, because knowledge, training and education is not Panamanian, it is universal ‘ he said. The idea is that foreign qualified workers can train Panamanians, he explained.
The president of the Panama Banking Association, Carlos Troetsch, said that ‘traditionally, this country has been a gateway to talent ‘.
Entrepreneurs offered these statements within the framework of the fifth Business Congress of Credit and Collection Risk, whose main theme focussed on the ‘Economic prospects for Panama for 2018 ‘.