The economy of Panama, one of the largest of Central America, suffered a historic contraction of 17.9% in 2020 over 2019, due to the effects of the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) plunging the population into unemployment and informality, so it is not in a position to withstand another economic closure, he warned the labor consultant René Quevedo.
Official figures, issued by the National Institute of Statistics and Census (Inec) from National Comptroller, put the unemployment rate at the end of October 2021 at 11.3%, while informal employment affects 47.6% of the population.
Faced with this reality, Quevedo stressed that for the activation of jobs an important engine is needed such as investment, mainly foreign investment, and for this a plan that entails confidence must be developed.
Without private investment there is no job creation. Today the generation of employment in Panama from the new contracts processed by the Ministry of Labor and Labor Development (Mitradel), is 44% below what it was in 2019. That year 52,040 informal jobs were generated “.
However, he clarified that under these conditions Panama would not withstand another closure of economic activity, as this would be devastating for employment, by generating uncertainty, which would drive away foreign investment from the country.
Quevedo considers that Panama must maintain concrete messages for investors and legal security, because if it does not have a clear outlook, the task will not be achieved, since private, local and foreign investment, would be the direct way to generate employment.
“It is important that we understand that this country was the favorite destination in the last 30 years for foreign investment. I trust that the negotiations of the State, for example with Minera Panama, will be resolved soon because the best strategy to attract foreign investment is the experience of the investors who are in Panama, ”Quevedo said.