VP Candidates all take to the stage to state their case.

Politics

Candidates for vice president promise to pay government suppliers, encourage agriculture and boost tourism to revive the economy

The axis of the third block of the debate for candidates for the Vice Presidency, organized by ‘The Star of Panama’ and ‘Eco TV’, revolved around the concrete and immediate plans of each payroll to activate the economy of the country. All the candidates presented some of their alternatives: Gordón bets on raising taxes; Boyd, to the logistics sector; Carrizo will pay the debt to government suppliers; Arango will encourage agriculture; Márquez focuses on the logistics ‘hub’ and Quijano, on Columbus tourism

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The debate of candidates for the Vice Presidency was an interesting exercise to compare the responses of the figures of confidence of the candidates for the Presidency of the Republic. Although the objective was for each participant to present their position in relation to what was said by their predecessor, what happened in general was that they took the time to answer the question in their own way. On a few occasions, a precise comment was observed on what was said by one or the other, and even less a counter-argument. This servant and Caroline Schmitt, a journalist from Eco TV, a channel that together with La Estrella de Panamá organized the debate, we asked a general question about economy, followed by a specific concern addressed to each candidate. It is interesting to compare the answers and analyze if their proposals would work as an accurate formula to reactivate the country’s economy. Some people dodged the question, but in general, taking into account the time constraints, the candidates gave lights of what they intend to implement in economic matters. The generation of jobs, the payment to government suppliers, tourism and agriculture are considered in the plans of the different payrolls in this sector.

In the preparatory meetings prior to the event, the campaign teams were informed about the topics to be debated, but they were not given the cross-examination in advance, which was prepared after a research work by the moderators. Transcribing your answers allows the reader to make their comparisons.

THE STAR OF PANAMA

CANDIDATE JOSÉ GABRIEL CARRIZOde the PRD – Molirena alliance

‘WE INVEST IN TOURIST INFRASTRUCTURE’

WHAT ARE THE PRIORITY ACTIONS IN ECONOMIC MATTER DURING YOUR GOVERNMENT?

We will pay more than one billion dollars in debt.The general budget of the State represents almost 35% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). It can not be that, for lack of payment, this government has become the main factor of bankruptcy of entrepreneurs. We will pay suppliers to revitalize the economy. As of July 1, we will begin the ‘Manos a la obra’ project, on the maintenance of public infrastructure. Similarly, we will invest in tourism infrastructure, which generates employment quickly; and the project ‘Study without hunger’, to provide hot food from national producers to schools and hospitals. In the same way, we will create a bank without bureaucratic, digitized red tape, to streamline processes. From the first of July, with the good government of Laurentino Cortizo, we will revitalize these sectors.

THERE IS A DIRECT RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE GROWTH OF GDP AND THE GENERATION OF JOBS. HOW DO YOU THINK ABOUT CREATING QUALITY JOBS IN A COUNTRY WHERE HUMAN CAPITAL SCREWS TO FILL OUT THE VACANCY REQUIRED BY THE CURRENT MARKET?

First, we are going to revitalize the economy so that the GDP is not in traditional companies, but in new companies, such as tourism and logistics, which has a direct impact on opportunities and greater jobs. But the answer is very simple, with an education in quality, values, principles and work. We know that the issue of education is not a problem of a generation. It is a problem that will cover a whole generation and Nito Cortizo has that commitment to start the transformation we are talking about. It is unfortunate that we can not fill these jobs, but there the government will be with scholarships, with efficient Ifarhu scholarship payment programs to train new talent with the capacity to do so.

‘WE WILL WORK IN THE TOURISM OF COLUMBUS’

THE STAR OF PANAMA

CANDIDATA NILDA QUIJANO from José Blandón’s payroll (Panameñista Party and Popular Party)

WHAT ARE THE PRIORITY ACTIONS IN ECONOMIC MATTER DURING YOUR GOVERNMENT?

In our government, led by President José Blandón, we will work in the tourism sector, in the development of cultural heritage and in the natural riches that we can offer, especially in tourism, where we will have to train people to serve them. We are working on the entrepreneurship of women, especially in the indigenous regions. It is necessary for women to take their role within society with a program from entrepreneur to entrepreneur, where the big entrepreneur, through public-private partnerships, will help the small entrepreneur to get ahead. We have already taken this model to practice, with excellent results. We will also introduce technology to agriculture … the accompaniment of producers to the finish line.

WHAT SPECIFIC MEASURES WILL IT IMPLEMENT TO ENHANCE THE TOURISM SECTOR?

To enhance the tourism sector, we have discussed with José Blandón about what has already begun in the province of Colón with the third bridge, that we need to build a road to reach the fort of San Lorenzo, which is a world heritage site and that is visited by many tourists who can not be cared for to give them what they deserve. Also, for the area of ​​Portobelo, which urgently needs an alternative way to move easily to visit the natural riches that Columbus has to offer.

‘WE’LL STIMULATE THE AGRICULTURAL INDUSTRY’

THE STAR OF PANAMA

CANDIDATO JORGE ARANGOof the independent payroll of Ana Matilde Gómez

WHAT ARE THE PRIORITY ACTIONS IN ECONOMIC MATTER DURING YOUR GOVERNMENT?

We will put order and we will end the anarchy that exists in this country. It can not be that a tiny group of people paralyze the country and extend a strike of five weeks that ended with an industry. We are going to stimulate the agricultural industry through the incentives that are given to the big transnationals, that is why the Panamanians are selling all their companies and now they are in the hands of foreigners. That is why we are going to renew the confidence of investors in Panama. It can not be that this country has imported $ 11,600 million last year and exported only $ 640 million, we have finished with the small industry. The agricultural sector is the easiest to reactivate, everyone has a piece of land, everyone wants to cultivate, but we have to give them the advantages we give to other services. It can not be that we cultivate and at the time of selling the crops, others have taken away the market. We have a project to give scholarships of $ 20 thousand per year for new apprentices who will then be incorporated into the labor market.

FOR THIS YEAR, THE INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND INDICATES A GROWTH OF 6.3%, ECLAC 5.6% AND THE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE, A LITTLE MORE CONSERVATIVE OF 4.5%. WE CONTINUE TO BE ONE OF THE LARGEST GROWING COUNTRIES IN THE REGION; HOWEVER, THIS GROWTH DOES NOT COME TO THE COUNTRIES OR RURAL ZONES. WHAT DO YOU PROPOSE TO MINIMIZE THIS GAP, UNDERSTANDING THAT PANAMA IS ONE OF THE COUNTRIES WITH THE GREATEST INEQUALITY?

It is important to say that these figures, when we distribute them in the population, do not have any validity. It is not true that the average salary is $ 15 thousand. We have a program to reactivate the agricultural sector, more than 40% of the population of the country lives directly or indirectly from the agricultural sector. There are around 300 thousand producers who have land, a lot of knowledge, who need technology and can not sell their products. We will transform the Agricultural Marketing Institute and will not import a single grain and will be in charge of making the preventive harvest program.

‘WE WILL PROMOTE AERIAL AND MARITIME LOGISTICS’

THE STAR OF PANAMA

CANDIDATO GUILLERMO MÁRQUEZ AMADO from the independent payroll of Ricardo Lombana

WHAT ARE THE PRIORITY ACTIONS IN ECONOMIC MATTER DURING YOUR GOVERNMENT?

The logistics sector, which includes maritime, air and land, and the tourism sector constitute what economists call a cluster, contributes 42% of GDP to the country. However, instead of promoting that these activities grow, what we have done is to treat the ships, particularly the maritime business, as if it were a dairy cow that must be left dry. That has to be changed, and it must immediately allow a greater amount of movement, because each ship that arrives in Panama and leaves two thousand or three thousand containers, is a considerable amount of movement. Apart from that, the revitalization of agriculture, so that producers can have financing for production, is an indispensable step.

THERE ARE FACTORS THAT PREVENT PANAMA FROM PROSPERING IN COMPETITIVENESS, INCLUDING INEFFICIENCY IN THE GOVERNMENTAL BUREAUCRACY. IN ADDITION, YOUR FORMULA HAS SAID THAT IT WILL REDUCE THE GOVERNMENT PLANS, HOW DO YOU THINK TO OVERCOME THE CHALLENGE OF BUREAUCRATIC INEFFICIENCY ?, AND IF THAT ANNOUNCEMENT WILL NOT PUT NERVOUS ON THE OFFICIALS, TO FEEL THREATENED TO LOSE YOUR POSITION, WHICH MAY DIRECTLY INCIDENT IN YOUR PERFORMANCE.

In the first place, it must be said that one of the evils we have is due to the attitude of ourselves as Panamanians, particularly when we are in charge of public functions. The Inca civilization had three fundamental precepts, and was characterized by having three great successes. The first was ‘Ama Sua’, you will not lie; the second ‘Ama Llulla’, you will not steal; and the third ‘Ama Quella’, you will not be idle, you will not be indolent and vague. These precepts have been picked up by Andrés Manuel López Obrador and here in Panama they were also picked up by a candidate and raised badly.

‘A PROGRESSIVE TAX POLICY’

THE STAR OF PANAMA

CANDIDATA MARIBEL GORDÓN, of the Broad Front for Democracy Party (FAD)

WHAT ARE THE PRIORITY ACTIONS IN ECONOMIC MATTER DURING YOUR GOVERNMENT?

We have proposed recovering agriculture to guarantee food security and sovereignty, a decent work policy and a fair salary. This economy has grown in one and two digits, but the mass of national wealth measured by the GDP that goes to workers has a downward trend that means that a minuscule group, the 115 billionaires of this country, keep the wealth. We propose a review of fiscal policy in two ways, the budget to order the allocation of resources in favor of meeting the needs of the population, and the tax, to raise a tax policy model of a progressive nature under the principle of that those who earn the most, contribute the most to national development. We are considering combating poverty from its causes, promoting tourism as a fundamental axis of development.

THE BROAD FRONT FOR DEMOCRACY HAS RESPONSIBLE TO THE REST OF THE DEMOCRATIC GOVERNMENTS ON THE ECONOMIC SITUATION OF THE COUNTRY BY ATTACHING TO THE NEOLIBERAL ECONOMIC MODEL. NOTWITHSTANDING, IN THE WORLD, THE COMMUNIST MODEL SEEMS TO HAVE SOLD OUT: RUSSIA TRANSFORMED ITS CENTRALISM ECONOMY MANEJADA BY THE COMMUNIST PARTY TO A MARKET ECONOMY; CHINA LIGHTS ITS SOCIALIST CRITERION TO PASS THE IMPLEMENTATION OF CERTAIN CAPITALIST MEASURES. IT IS EVIDENT THAT IN VENEZUELA THE SOCIALISM OF THE 21ST CENTURY SUFFERS ITS WORST ECONOMIC CRISIS.ACCORDING TO YOUR PROPOSAL, WHAT WILL BE THE ECONOMIC MODEL THAT WOULD FUNCTION IN PANAMA, PUT IT NAME, AND WHY?

I am Panamanian, I am worried about my country, where there are children who die of hunger and die of preventable diseases; our model, one that places human life, a dignified life as the center of social activity.For us it is a model of national identity, in Panama that development will take place according to its national and social interests and we are proposing that this model that places human development for the first time as the center of economic activity, is going to gestate the productive processes what the nation demands It will address for the first time unmet social needs, such as education.

‘WE WILL REACTIVATE THE AGRO AND THE TOURISM SECTOR’

THE STAR OF PANAMA

CANDIDATO MARIO BOYD GALINDO of the independent formula of Marco Ameglio

WHAT ARE THE PRIORITY ACTIONS IN ECONOMIC MATTER DURING YOUR GOVERNMENT?

If there is someone who knows how to generate employment and raise the economy, it is Marco Ameglio, a proven businessman. In our government, the first measure will be to pay the public debt that is owed to suppliers and government contractors. Reactivate the agricultural and tourism sector. We will emphasize logistics, transportation, communications and energy. The development of the Atlantic will be of importance. We think that in the construction of a road from the port Sherman to Miguel de la Borda and continue with the connections between the two oceans. We have to govern in a pristine, orderly and serious manner because there are many resources that are spent and that is why the economy has so many problems. We intend to strengthen the Comptroller’s Office, so that it can contribute to national development and public finances.

ACCORDING TO THE FIGURES OF THE LAST 10 YEARS, PANAMA TRIPLLED THE EXTERNAL DEBT, BUT THANKS TO THE GDP GROWTH IT IS LOCATED WITHIN THE ACCEPTABLE LIMITS. THIS HAS ALLOWED PANAMA TO MAINTAIN THE INVESTMENT DEGREE. WHAT IS YOUR STRATEGY TO MANAGE THE DEBT, MAINTAIN THE DEGREE OF INVESTMENT, WITHOUT RAISING TAXES OR COVERING MORE DEBT?

Encourage the economy to generate investment so that the economy flows and more taxes can be collected. It is the only formula.

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