Cityscape


cityscapeadobe1
Photograph by ©Omar Upegui R.

This is a photograph of the skyline of Panama City, Panama shot from the marine section of the Coastal Strip.  It was taken last year during a sojourn to one of the most photographed areas of the metropolis.

Over the last two decades, Panama has enjoyed one of the most outstanding economic growth in the world.  Due to its unique geographic position, Panama is the sweet spot for international commerce.  The Panama Canal in itself handles more than five percent of all merchandise moving across the globe.

In terms of moving freight, Panama has made itself the economic crossroads of the Americas. It has handled control of the canal well since it took over in 1999. The number of containers moving through this historic byway in 1993 was 267,000. Today there are well over 6 million, and with the opening of a third set of locks in June, which will enable the canal to handle today’s megaships, that number should surge to well over 12 million. The massive infrastructure attendant upon this growth in traffic has obviously been a boon to the country. The government wisely didn’t treat the canal as a short-term political piggy bank the way most countries have done with, say, their state-owned oil companies. Considerable sums have been reinvested in the canal. The resultant growing volume of trade has meant that government revenues from the canal have also grown nicely.

Almost a decade ago Panama enacted what is called Law 41, which offered considerable incentives to any major company making Panama its regional headquarters for Latin America. More than 100 multinationals, such as Procter & Gamble, have done so. Among the enticements is that their employees pay no Panamanian income taxes. As with the canal, the creation of these headquarters has generated supporting infrastructure, including schools.

Panama’s expanding airport has also became a crucial regional hub; 68% of the passengers landing there are passing through to other destinations.

With the exception of New York and Chicago, Panama City has more skyscrapers these days than any other city in the Western Hemisphere, and 16 of Latin America’s 25 tallest buildings are in Panama City. This is amazing when you consider such megametropolises as São Paulo, Mexico City and Buenos Aires.

Panama has been attentive to building the necessary infrastructure to support all of this expansion. Construction of a major monorail is under way, and a new convention center to handle such “business tourism” as conferences and exhibitions is near completion.

Another source of growth with enormous potential is medical tourism. Johns Hopkins, for example, has a large facility there. With health care less available in the virtually bankrupt systems of many Western countries, especially in Europe, demand for what Panama offers–excellent care at affordable cost–is almost limitless.Panama’s expanding airport has also became a crucial regional hub; 68% of the passengers landing there are passing through to other destinations.

With the exception of New York and Chicago, Panama City has more skyscrapers these days than any other city in the Western Hemisphere, and 16 of Latin America’s 25 tallest buildings are in Panama City. This is amazing when you consider such megametropolises as São Paulo, Mexico City and Buenos Aires.Panama has been attentive to building the necessary infrastructure to support all of this expansion. Construction of a major monorail is under way, and a new convention center to handle such “business tourism” as conferences and exhibitions is near completion.

Another source of growth with enormous potential is medical tourism. Johns Hopkins, for example, has a large facility there. With health care less available in the virtually bankrupt systems of many Western countries, especially in Europe, demand for what Panama offers–excellent care at affordable cost–is almost limitless.

In the big scheme of things, contrary to global headlines, Panama is no sleazy money-laundering backwater. Quite the opposite. Panama City is becoming the financial center of Latin America, with scores of global and Latin-American financial institutions having a sizable presence there.  I see blue skies ahead for this small narrow country in the middle of the world.

Source:  The Panama Papers? Here’s the Real Panama Story by Steve Forbes, Forbes Staff

Good Day!

3 thoughts on “Cityscape”

  1. I am so impressed with your shot, wow, it is a masterpiece, dear Omar! Your dream will come true even sooner, you are already a great photographer! Fantastic! Thank you for telling us about your country, I read it with a serious curiosity!

  2. I understand your empathy toward me, but my dear Ana, at this stage, I’m still far away from being a photographer. There is a long road ahead. The word “masterpiece” is a big word. Anyway, I appreciate your kindness and support. Believe me, I do!

    Now having said that, I am still focused like a laser beam in becoming a photographer. Soon I will add a Neewer photo bracket grip holder for my Neewer reflector. It should be here in approximately twelve days. You will know when it is here in my house.

    I’m satisfied that you read with interest my narrative about Panama. As you can see, even though we are enduring hard times due to two financial scandals on a global scale, I know we will move forward towards a brighter future. Optimism is a good word to have under your pillow when you go to bed.

    Once more, I thank you for your encouraging words and support.

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