Country Analysts

Marco Fernandez
Former Economic Advisor, Ministry of Planning

In The News


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Recent Country Insights

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The economic implications of Ricardo Martinelli's acquittal
PANAMA - In Brief 10 Aug 2019
Not guilty of the accusations that the Attorney General office (Ministerio Público, MP) presented against former president Ricardo Martinelli (July 2009-July 2014): illegal wiretapping of citizens and embezzlement of public funds. This was the unanimous verdict of three judges on Friday evening, ...

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Cortizo hit the ground running in economic and financial policies… while the economy continues to slide
PANAMA - Report 06 Aug 2019
July was an active month for “Nito” Cortizo’s government. He visited international banks in New York to explain the government’s strategy to eliminate Panama from the gray list of non-cooperating countries in matters of money laundering after its inclusion (again) in June of this year. Also, the ...

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The new administration will tap the market in a few weeks…and initiate a road show to remove Panama from the “gray” list of GAFI
PANAMA - In Brief 12 Jul 2019
The new economic team announced yesterday that they will test the capital markets with a US$ 2.7 billion placement. The main objective of the transaction is to finance the expected deficit by December and the payment of a big chunk of the arrears to contractors left by the previous government. Th...

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Public Sector Deficit is expected to be higher than the legal limit by the end of the year (and next)
PANAMA - In Brief 02 Jul 2019
Héctor Alexander, new Minister of MEF beginning July 1, stated last week that that the real situation of the public finances may be worse than the figures submitted by the Varela Administration, because of the -so far- unknown amount of accounts payable to contractors and suppliers. His estimatio...

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Panama is back in the gray list of GAFI: an expected result with unpredictable consequences
PANAMA - Report 27 Jun 2019
During the FATF (Financial Action Task Force, GAFI in Spanish) plenary meeting last week in Orlando, Florida , the Republic of Panama was added again to the gray list of non-cooperating countries in matters related to money laundering and financial transparency, despite the efforts made by the Ad...

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The new economic team is (almost) in place…facing a tight fiscal situation and a slow real activity
PANAMA - Report 30 May 2019
Héctor Alexander, former Minister of Economy and Finance (MEF) from 2007-2009, and University of Chicago graduate, will be in charge again of this office, presumably until January when the MEF might split into two separate entities: MEF itself will likely transform into the Ministry of Treasury (...

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High NFPS deficit in the first quarter of 2019: the challenges to Cortizo´s administration
PANAMA - In Brief 13 May 2019
The net deficit of Q1 was $966 million: 1.4% of projected (by MEF) nominal GDP for the complete year, or around 5% of “adjusted” GDP for the quarter. This figure does not include payments in arrears to contractors (a figure that may be at least 600 million, according to private sources). The prim...

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Cortizo wins by a small margin. Roux challenges the result. PRD is the strongest party in the Legislative Assembly.
PANAMA - In Brief 06 May 2019
Laurentino “Nito” Cortizo won the Presidential election tonight by a slight margin, so small that the Cambio Democratico Party of Romulo Roux is challenging the results thus prolonging the official recognition of the results. Cortizo’s Partido Revolucionario Democrático, PRD (social-democratic un...

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Will a new President and ally be enough to boost the economy?
PANAMA - Report 28 Apr 2019
The Monthly Index of Economic Activity increased 3.65% YTD (the result of 3.57% in January and 3.74% in February), lower than what was expected by the market. The main concern for the first half of the year relates to the El Niño phenomenon and the drought that comes with it. The agricultural pro...

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