Saturday, November 14, 2009

Virginia Resident Pleads Guilty to Bribing Panamanian Officials for Maritime Contract

If somebody says that paying a kickback is a harmless way to get things done in Panama, run away! This guy discovered the hard way that paying for a re-election campaign in Panama through a dividend is not a good idea.

Does that mean that the Panama PRD officials involved are also guilty of corruption? What will Panama judges do?

Department of Justice Office of Public Affairs

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Friday, November 13, 2009

Virginia Resident Pleads Guilty to Bribing Panamanian Officials for Maritime Contract
WASHINGTON – Charles Paul Edward Jumet of Fluvanna County, Va., pleaded guilty today in connection with his role in a conspiracy to pay bribes to Panamanian government officials to secure a maritime contract, announced Assistant Attorney General of the Criminal Division Lanny A. Breuer, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia Neil H. MacBride, Joseph Persichini Jr., Assistant Director-in-Charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office, Jennifer Smith Love, Special Agent-in-Charge of the FBI’s Richmond Field Office and James A. Dinkins, Special Agent-in-Charge of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Office of Investigation, Washington.
Jumet, 53, pleaded guilty before U.S. Magistrate Judge Dennis W. Dohnal in Richmond, Va., to a two-count information charging him with conspiring to make corrupt payments to foreign government officials for the purpose of securing business for Ports Engineering Consultants Corporation (PECC) in violation of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA); and making a false statement.
PECC, a company incorporated under the laws of Panama, was affiliated with Overman Associates, an engineering firm based in Virginia Beach, Va. According to Jumet’s plea, PECC was created so Jumet, Overman Associates and others could corruptly obtain a maritime contract from the Panamanian government.
According to court documents, Jumet was involved in a conspiracy to pay money secretly to Panamanian government officials for awarding PECC contracts to maintain lighthouses and buoys along Panama’s waterway. In December 1997, the Panamanian government awarded PECC a no-bid, 20-year concession to perform these duties. In exchange for the concession, Jumet and others authorized corrupt payments to the Panamanian government officials.
In 2000, Panama’s Comptroller General’s Office suspended the contract while it investigated the government’s decision to award PECC a contract without soliciting any bids from other firms. In 2003, the Panama government resumed making payments to PECC.
In connection with his guilty plea, Jumet admitted that from at least 1997 through approximately July 2003, he and others conspired to make corrupt payments totaling more than $200,000 to the former administrator and deputy administrator of Panama’s National Maritime Ports Authority and to a former, high-ranking elected executive official of the Republic of Panama.
In his guilty plea, Jumet also admitted that he knowingly made a false statement to federal agents about a December 1997 "dividend" check payable to the bearer in the amount of $18,000, which was endorsed and deposited into an account belonging to the former, high-ranking elected executive official. Jumet admitted that he had falsely claimed that this "dividend" check was a donation for the high-ranking official’s re-election campaign. Jumet also admitted that the "dividend" check was in fact given to the former official as a corrupt payment for allowing PECC to receive the contract from the Panamanian government.
As part of his plea agreement, Jumet has agreed to cooperate with the Department of Justice in its ongoing investigation. The conspiracy count carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a fine of the greater of $250,000 or twice the gross gain or loss from the scheme. The false statement count carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a fine of $250,000. Sentencing is scheduled for Feb. 12, 2010.
The case was prosecuted by Trial Attorney Rina Tucker Harris of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section and Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael S. Dry of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia. The case was investigated by the FBI’s Washington Field Office, the FBI’s Richmond Field Office and ICE’s Office of Investigation, Richmond and Washington.
Criminal Division

Friday, November 13, 2009

Singapore aerospace companies reach Americas through Panama

Published October 29, 2009

Copa's vote of confidence in ST Aerospace


WHEN ST Aerospace set up a maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) service shop for aircraft in Panama in 2006, one of its first customers was Copa Airlines.

Photo - Key location: ST Aerospace set up a facility in Panama as it reckons that it is the perfect place to do business because it is between North and South America

Recently, Copa not only renewed its maintenance service agreement with Panama Aerospace Engineering, ST Aerospace's Panama facility, but extended the agreement beyond its B737 planes to its E-190s.

Obviously, ST Aerospace has a satisfied customer in Copa. The Singapore-based company, which is recognised as the world's largest aircraft MRO service provider, takes it as 'a testament to our high quality and reliable service'.

Copa's gesture augurs well for ST Aerospace, which set up the Panama facility to provide a strong and competitive MRO base to serve the Americas - 'supporting the maintenance needs of customers operating in Central, North and South America', says ST Aerospace president Tay Kok Khiang.

The facility is intended to boost ST Aerospace's capabilities and complements its operations in the US, which remains a key market because it is home to almost half of the world's commercial airliners.

To have customers like Copa coming back - and for more - puts ST Aerospace in a strong position to win more customers in a fast-growing market for aviation services.

In fact, the company has seen its customer base in Panama expand to include clients such as AerCap, AWAS, GECAS, Sundowner Aviation and Transaero Airlines among others.

'This demonstrates our growing success and customers' growing confidence,' says Mr Tay.

ST Aerospace initially faced a shortage of trained aviation mechanics in Panama. But it anticipated this problem. So as it built up the Panama facility, it also started a significant training programme for the locals.

It also deployed some of its expertise from the US and Singapore to help get operations in Panama off the ground.

'Today, the training programme is going well as we have well-educated and enthusiastic employees,' Mr Tay says. 'With our established systems and processes in place within our global network, we were able to share our knowledge to facilitate the start-up process.'

The Panama facility is now performing well, he says. 'It has consistently re-delivered aircraft on time and with quality to customers, and has steadily built a strong track record for the maintenance of narrow-body aircraft, with more than 60 re-delivered to date.'

ST Aerospace reckons that Panama is the perfect place to do business because it is between North and South America.

'It is recognised as an important transport and shipping hub, and we feel it is an ideal location for MRO,' says Mr Tay. 'It is also close to the US, where we have a good client base, and has a good infrastructure.'

The aviation market in Latin America is projected to expand at a rate second only to Asia, mainly in narrow-body aircraft.

'Therefore we expect to continue growing our Latin American customer base,' Mr Tay says. 'As the aviation business recovers and carriers start to build up capacity, and due to competitive advantages that Latin American MROs have, Latin America will be an attractive outsourcing option for US carriers.'

Full text in,4574,356733,00.html? .

Special Focus
Published October 29, 2009

Aviation prospects in Mexico, Brazil, Panama, Argentina: IES

AVIATION opportunities in selected countries seen through the eyes of International Enterprise (IE) Singapore.

Panama: The next 40 years will see the former Howard Military Base transformed into a mixed-use community called Panama Pacifico. The $705 million project includes an airport and logistics hub.

Signalling Panama's commitment to develop the aviation sector at Panama Pacifico, Law 41 offers tax benefits for providers of aviation industry services and aviation maintenance, repair and operations (MRO) services. Aerospace Engineering, an offshoot of Singapore-based ST Aerospace, already has a footprint at Panama Pacifico.
Full text in,4574,356731,00.html ?

The Latin American route

The aviation opportunities Latin America has to offer extend beyond air cargo, reports CHUANG PECK MING

SINGAPORE Airlines Cargo launched flights to several Latin American cities in February this year because it wanted to fly flowers from Ecuador and Colombia to the rest of the world.

Oh, and it was also eyeing a cut of the business of shipping Brazil's electronics exports.

At the moment, the continuing global slump in electronics has kept exports down. But worldwide demand for freshly cut flowers is in bloom again.

'As the world economy picks up, so will air cargo movements in and out of Latin America to various parts of the world,' says Angeline Chan, head of the transport and logisticis division at International Enterprise (IE) Singapore.

Due to the vast size of countries in Latin America, air transport is a vital link, she says. 'There is a need for an efficient and well-connected civil aviation system to link the sparsely inhabited areas with major economic centres. And aviation infrastructure is also necessary infrastructure to support trade in and out of the region.'

Air-services agreements that allow civil aviation between countries, and the physical connectivity of airlines, are essential for cargo traffic, Ms Chan says. So it's good for Singapore air-cargo service providers that Singapore has just signed new air services agreements with several Latin American states.

By end-2008, Singapore had air service agreements with Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Mexico and Panama in Latin America. Since 2009, Ms Chan says IE Singapore, which is pushing Singapore companies to go global, has been helping the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore build a network of air services agreements to link Singapore with major air cargo and passenger routes in Latin America.

For more information about IESingapore, please contact
Ms Jocelyn Cai
International Enterprise Singapore
+ 65 6433 4583 tel+ 65 6337 6898 fax

Panama grants naturalization after 10 years...

5 years as permanent resident, 5 years later for the application to be approved.

The past Torrijos administation was happy to announce it has the largest number of ships registered, corporations formed, dollars taxed, tourists received. However, when it comes to naturalizations, 97 new Panamanians a year is good enough.

Will the new Martinelli change things around and arrange to have a backlog of hundreds of naturalization applications resolved?

Panamá, domingo 17 de febrero de 2008

El lento proceso para una naturalización

Obtener la nacionalidad panameña debe demorar seis meses, pero a veces tarda hasta cinco años.
José Somarriba Hernández

Cuando *Jessica llegó a Panamá, desde Cantón, en China Continental, tenía cuatro años de edad. Para entonces, su familia no imaginaba que esta tierra sería, 21 años después, su segunda patria.

"Estudié kínder, primaria y secundaria, me gradué con el primer puesto de honor. Me fui a estudiar medicina a Cuba, me recibí de doctora con el segundo lugar en la Facultad de Ciencias Médicas Ciego De Ávila", contó.

Hace dos años, Jessica, quien para entonces tenía 23 años de edad, empezó con los procesos de naturalización, pero no imaginó que sería un trámite "tan engorroso, lento y burocrático".

Explicó que todo ese tiempo, su abogada hizo lo imposible porque le entregaran la carta de naturaleza; sin embargo, siempre tropezó con el "poco importa de las autoridades vinculada al tema".

Jessica dice que al final se cansó y le hizo la petición al presidente Martín Torrijos, personalmente y fue así como consiguió su cometido.

La joven fue juramentada en la Gobernación de Panamá como panameña en enero pasado, aunque solo junto a cinco personas más. Las juramentaciones se hacen los últimos jueves de cada mes. Los trámites de Jessica comenzaron en 2006.

La representante legal de Jessica indicó que, al igual que este caso, tiene un cliente que pasa por el mismo problema: "Es un muchacho que llegó desde China con tres años de edad y estudió toda la escuela aquí, incluso se está graduando de arquitectura en la Universidad de Panamá. De no obtener su naturalización no podrá trabajar de arquitecto".


La jurista explicó que el trámite de la carta de naturaleza tiene un costo de unos 2 mil 300 a 2 mil 500 dólares.

Cuando entra la solicitud de naturalización a la Dirección de Migración, se debe pagar 20 dólares.

Luego, 50 dólares más en el Tribunal Electoral, para hacer un examen de geografía, historia y política de Panamá.

Haber estudiado la escuela secundaria en Panamá exime de esta prueba, pero igual debe pagar los 50 dólares.

Después la solicitud es enviada al Ministerio de Gobierno y Justicia y, de allí, al Consejo de Seguridad para, a través de Interpol, conocer si el peticionario ha cometido algún delito.

"Lo malo es que si le hallan alguna falta, por mínima que sea [incluso, una infracción de tránsito] le niegan la naturalización", sostuvo.

Luego de esto, el consejo manda una nota en que recomienda aprobar o negar la carta de naturaleza. Tras lo cual el Presidente debe firmarla.

Ya con la firma, la carta de naturaleza –un documento en forma de diploma– se deben pagar 300 dólares en Migración por el timbre que lleva y 10 dólares más por la caligrafía.

La persona puede juramentarse luego en la Gobernación de Panamá, proceso que es gratuito. Un abogado, por la tramitación, cobra entre mil dólares y 2 mil dólares.


Otro abogado, que prefirió no ser identificado, explicó que el proceso es "muy burocrático", pues debe durar unos seis meses, pero en algunos casos tarda hasta cinco años.

"Tengo clientes desde el gobierno pasado y algunos tienen casi cinco años de estar esperando la naturalización. De hecho, cuando el documento llega al Consejo [de Seguridad] se siente una alegría, pero el Presidente [Martín Torrijos] no los firma. Ni a las notas ni a los impulsos procesales le hacen caso", explicó.

El jurista comentó que tiene poco más de 200 clientes que todavía están a la espera, algunos desde hace cuatro años. De hecho, desde que llegó el actual gobierno, se han aprobado solo tres cartas de naturaleza.

"Una porque la persona se le plantó al Presidente, y las otras dos porque se trata de dos hermanas que tienen un conocido en el Partido Revolucionario Democrático", indicó.

Tayra Barsallo, subdirectora de Migración, dijo que el proceso de las naturalizaciones está contenido en el artículo 10 de la Constitución que sirve de base a su solicitud, la Ley 7 de 14 de marzo de 1980 y el Decreto 59 de 4 de agosto de 1988.

"Quienes aspiran a nacionalizarse deben cumplir con los requisitos de la Constitución y las instituciones", añadió.

Se trató de tener una versión de la Presidencia, pero se nos comunicó que se encontraban en una reunión extraordinaria. *Nombre ficticio

Full text in

Panama, Sunday February 17, 2008

In 2007 only 97 people were naturalized.
The slow process of naturalization
Obtaining the Panamanian nationality should take six months, but sometimes takes up to five years.

Somarriba José Hernández
* When Jessica arrived in Panama, from Canton in mainland China, she was four years old. By then her family could not imagine that this land would, 21 years later, his second home.

"I studied kindergarten, primary and secondary education, I graduated with first place of honor. I went to study medicine to Cuba, I got my doctor for the second place in the Ciego De Ávila School of Medical Sciences" he said.

Two-year-old Jessica, who by then was 23 years old, started with the process of naturalization, but never imagined it would be a formality "as cumbersome, slow and bureaucratic.

He explained that all that time, her attorney did the impossible because he handed the letter to nature, but always ran into the "little matter of the authorities linked to the issue."

Jessica says that eventually grew tired and made a request to President Martín Torrijos, and was personally and got his mission.

She was sworn in the Government of Panama and Panama in January, but only with five others. The oath was made last Thursday of each month. Jessica formalities began in 2006.

Jessica's legal representative said that, like this case, a customer that goes through the same problem: "He's a guy who came from China three years and studied the entire school here, even graduating in architecture at the University of Panama. Due to his failure to obtain naturalization he may not work as an architect. "


The lawyer explained that the pending nature of the letter will cost about 2 thousand 300 a 2 thousand 500 dollars.

When he enters the naturalization application to the Immigration Department, it must pay $ 20.

Then $ 50 more in the Electoral Tribunal to make an examination of geography, history and politics of Panama.

Have studied high school in Panama exempt from this test, but still must pay $ 50.

After the application is sent to the Ministry of Government and Justice and, hence, the Security Council, through Interpol, to know if the person has committed a crime.

"The trouble is that if you find a fault, however minimal [even a traffic violation] denied naturalization," he said.

After this, the council sent a note to recommend approval or deny the certificate of naturalization. After which the President must sign it.

Since the signature, the letter of nature-a document in the form of diploma-$ 300 must be paid by the bell on Migration and carrying $ 10 more for the calligraphy.

The person may then be sworn in the Government of Panama, a process that is free. A lawyer for the processing, charging between thousand and 2 thousand dollars.

Very bureaucratic

Another lawyer, who declined to be identified, explained that the process is "very bureaucratic" because probably take about six months, but sometimes takes up to five years.

"I have customers from government and some have spent almost five years of waiting for naturalization. In fact, when the document is the Council [Security] feel a joy, but President [Martín Torrijos] not the firm. Neither the notes or the process you ignore impulses, "he said.

The lawyer said he has little more than 200 customers are still waiting, some for four years. In fact, since joining the present government has approved only three letters of nature.

"A person because he planted the President and the other two because they are two sisters who have an acquaintance in the Democratic Revolutionary Party," he said.

Tayra Barsallo, Deputy Director of Immigration, said the naturalization process is contained in Article 10 of the Constitution that underlies its application of Law 7 of 14 March 1980 and Decree 59 of August 4, 1988 .

"Those who aspire to become citizens must meet the requirements of the Constitution and the institutions," he added.

We tried to have a version of the Presidency, but we were informed that they were in a special session. * Fictitious name

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Why property agents should act only for one party

This letter was written by a reader of a Singapore and explains why conflicts of interest do arise when a real estate agent represent both seller and buyer, as is very frequent in Panama.

property agents should act for only one party: Forum
[2009] 04 Nov_ST

Title: Why property agents should act for only one party: Forum
Source: Straits Times

Legal News Archive

I REFER to last Thursday's Forum Online letters by Mrs Teresa Yao ('How new rules can protect property agents') and Mr Teo Kueh Liang ('Barring same-agent property brokerage not practical').

Both writers have highlighted the plight of the majority of ethical property agents, whose image has been tarnished by a small group of unscrupulous and dishonest agents.

In any profession, it is impossible to completely wipe out the bad hats. Therefore, after an acceptable standard of practice has been established, understood and made into law, non-compliant practices should be punished.

In any property transaction, the two most important parties are the seller and the buyer. They must enter into a legally binding contract in order for the sale to go through. It is therefore natural that we facilitate the interests of the seller and the buyer first.

The interests of the property agent come after those of the seller and the buyer, as his role can come into being only after he has been appointed.

The terms of appointment, that is, what the agent can or cannot do, for example, must be expressedly agreed between him and the one who appoints him, so that there is no ambiguity that leads to future problems.

When the Ministry of National Development puts into law a system for the seller, the buyer and the property agent, it must separately examine the relationship between the seller or buyer and the property agent, from the relationship between the seller and the buyer. If the seller or the buyer chooses to hand the responsibilities over to his agent, he must adequately reward the agent.

To protect his own interests, the property agent should act for only one party and not both.

Patrick Sio

Read also:

Filing complaints against Panama real estate agents
Liability of real estate agents in property purchases

Singapore: Latin America's Asian Partner

Panama has a Free Trade Agreement with Singapore and this year will be participating in the Latin Asia Business Forum starting November 12. The conference coincides with the Asia Pacific Economic Conference APEC which is attended by Mexico, Peru and Chile as Latin American countries.

Singapore companies doing business in Panama include ST Aerospace (Panama Aerospace Engineering) at former Howard AFB, CrimsonLogic at City of Knowledge and soon PSA at the future Farfan port.

Monday, September 17, 2007
Singapore: Latin America's Asian Partner
Latin America is becoming more important for Singapore. Latin American companies can use Singapore as a bridge to China and India.


Latin America is an increasingly important market for Singaporean companies. At the same time, we are beginning to feel more of Latin America's presence and interests in Asia. (..)

The only other combined market that outpaces this growth is Australia and the Middle East, but their base is too small for real comparison. Singapore's trade with Latin America has also been increasing. Between 2004 and 2006, total trade involving Singapore and Latin America grew at an average of 29.1 percent per year to $7.8 billion. However, this constitutes only 1.46 percent of Singapore's total trade.

In terms of investments, it is lesser known fact how much a small nation like Singapore invests in Latin America and the Caribbean. We have invested about $28 billion, albeit much of it directed towards tax havens such as British Virgin Islands, the Cayman Islands and Bermuda. Nevertheless, Singaporean companies have made significant, direct long-term investments in the region. At the end of 2004, Singapore's stock of investments in Brazil ($129 million) and Mexico ($556 million) made us Asia's second largest source of foreign direct investment (FDI) in each of those countries. Only Japan surpassed us.

What is more significant is the fact that our companies are not investing in resource assets. Instead, Singaporean companies are investing in high employment-generating sectors. Our footprint in the region numbers more than 60 companies in 21 countries throughout Latin America and the Caribbean. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said of Latin American companies in Asia.

In a survey conducted by International Enterprise (IE) Singapore last year, we found that companies generally venture into Latin America due to demand for their products and services. More encouragingly, 85 percent of respondents reported that investments have been profitable. Reflecting confidence in business opportunities, more than half (53 percent) of survey respondents expressed an intention to further expand Latin American operations. If we had done a similar survey looking at Singaporean companies doing business in China and India, I do not think we would have found a similar level of profitability.

Today, China and India account for 37 percent of the world's population and constitute 18 percent of the global economy. We can only expect these figures to grow in the foreseeable future, given both real gross domestic product (GDP) growth and the level of private consumption in Asia. It is becoming apparent why most Boards of Directors of Asian and Latin American companies are forcing their business development teams to come up with an Asian strategy.

Two or three years ago, in my position at International Enterprise Singapore­a government agency responsible for helping Singapore-based companies to internationalize operations and foster the development of Singapore as a thriving global trading hub­there was a little procrastination when I wanted to meet Latin American multinational corporation executives. Today it is different; they want to meet and see how we can help with their Asian strategy.


The sheer size and strength of China's economy poses both challenges and opportunities. Singapore's strategy has been to identify niches and complementary areas where we can add value rather than directly compete.

In 2006, Singapore's trade with China stood at $55 billion, an increase of 27 percent over the previous year, making it Singapore's fourth largest trading partner. Since 1997, China has also been the number one investment destination for Singaporean companies. Singapore is China's seventh largest investor, having accumulatively invested more than $15 billion.

Singapore's relationship with China is marked by a very significant role that we played in the early stage of its open door policy. In the late 1980s, our ex-Deputy Prime Minister Mr Goh Keng Swee acted as an economic advisor to Shenzhe­China's first special economic zone.

In 1994, the two countries strengthened their relationship by jointly embarking on a large-scale township development project­the Suzhou Industrial Park (SIP). Today, the SIP is a well-managed and integrated township of over 70 square kilometers with excellent infrastructure and a high-quality environment, accommodating 80,000 residents. It has attracted $16 billion in investment, and since inception, its GDP has grown at an average of 45 percent per year.

However, the picture was not always rosy. We did go through our learning curve. We learned that it was not enough to just cultivate relationships at the central government level. From the SIP project, it became clear that relationships should be built at the provincial and municipal levels. It seems obvious today, but in 1990s it was not so apparent.

To ensure these strong relationships continue, we have since adopted several approaches. First, we are using political platforms to strengthen relationships. We have established several G-G level platforms. At the central government level, we have the Joint Council for Bilateral Cooperation chaired by the Deputy Prime Ministers from both countries. Also, we have developed provincial-level Business Councils to raise awareness about business opportunities and to facilitate Singaporean companies' commercial interests in certain provinces. These Councils allow stronger relationships to be built between the political leadership and also provide avenues for co-investment and dispute resolution.

We are also helping Singapore-based companies internationalize in China. IE Singapore has set- up offices in nine locations in China to provide on-the-ground support for our businesses. Importantly, we have chosen to be selective in our approach and focused on a few key sectors where Singapore companies have solid track records and international reputation (e.g. environmental engineering, water and waste water treatment, healthcare management, education services, infrastructure, and industrial park development).

To attract Chinese investment, Singapore is positioning itself as a gateway to the global economy. Our wide network of free-tade agreements (FTAs), excellent logistics and communications network, and similar language and cultural background make Singapore a natural choice. To date, over 2,300 Chinese companies have established operations in Singapore. Of them, 116 companies have also chosen to list in Singapore to capitalize on our corporate governance standards and capital market depth.


Bilateral trade between India and Singapore has grown to record levels, reaching $13 billion in 2006, an over 20 percent increase from 2005. Singapore investments in India have also grown. We are India's seventh largest inward investor country with cumulative investments worth $1.6 billion. In 2006, Singapore was India's second largest investor.

How have we strengthened our engagement with India? In the last three years, Singapore secured a solid FTA with India. The Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA) is providing the framework for a more attractive business environment. The Indian government has also recently decided to set up special economic zones (SEZs) to provide a catalyst for the growth of manufacturing and export sectors. Singapore and India have agreed to jointly set up an SEZ in India, and both sides are working to implement it.

In return, Indian companies have also found Singapore to be a logical springboard to other markets. The more than 2,000 Indian companies in Singapore are using our infrastructure and services to do business globally.

If you are wondering why this is happening, I will let you in on the best kept secret in the business world: the Singapore government has been actively supporting and investing in the export growth of foreign companies based in Singapore that are doing business in Asia and beyond. We provide incentives and grants for business development being coordinated from Singapore for the rest of the world. Shouldn't Latin American companies wanting to grow in Asia also join the club?

Satvinder Singh is the Americas Regional Director at International Enterprise Singapore. This column is based on a Viewpoints Americas from the Americas Society and the Council of the Americas.

Full text in

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Panama Instant Passport Program

The "Instant Passport Program" refers to the Rentista visa or Temporary Residence Visa as an Independent Retired, which has maintained the advantage of an identification booklet whith the same cover as a normal Panama passport - it even reads "Pasaporte" in its front cover. You can see its content in See

Panama authorities clearly warn that this is not a passport and should not be used as a travel document, even though some anxious peddlers on the Internet call it a passport. It is meant more as a fancy picture ID and does not grant Panama citizenship.

--- En date de : Sam 7.11.09, bryan88 a écrit :

De: bryan88
Objet: Panama Instant Passport Program
Date: Samedi 7 Novembre 2009, 1h01

To Mypanamalawyer

There are various websites offering an instant passport from panama stating you only need to deposit money with the national bank of panama for 5 years and you get a passport and residency. I just wanted to find out if it applies and if so,what are the details. I am a South African citizen planning on relocating to Panama within the next year or so and wish to relinquish my South African citizenship but would lose my current passport if I do. If you could please be so kind as to advise me on what to do.

Many Thanks