On October 13, the Chamber of Commerce, Industries and Agriculture (CCIAP, for its acronym in Spanish) issued a statement declaring that the bill creating the Law on health and safety in port jobs, and the bill regulating the protection of port workers should be returned to first debate for further analysis. The statement also recommends the creation of a technical subcommittee designated by the National Assembly’s Labor Committee.
The CCIAP pointed out that these bills, which are currently pending a second debate in the Plenary Assembly, put Panama’s competitive position as a logistics hub at risk. They added that “as a responsible business guild, we understand and share the need to ensure the safety and welfare of port employees; however, when addressing such sensitive issues, we believe that these legislative initiatives require broad consultation with all sectors involved.”
Their point is that these bills raise issues that go beyond the port industry, affecting commercial and logistical activities fundamental to the national economy. These activities, they say, “have proven to be pillars of the economy, maintaining positive numbers at a time when other sectors are depressed”. Finally, the House appealed “to the good judgment of the deputies in terms of producing laws that benefit our citizens, but also taking into account the economic model driving our growth with the participation of private investment.”