Panama Corruption reputation has taken a substantial hit over recent years due to corruption investigations into multiple presidential administrations, which implicate unethical business practices, embezzlement, and illegal financing activities. These scandals have only deepened public disillusionment towards political figures as average Panamanians experience further alienation from them.
Panama, an idyllic small country spanning North and South America, is well known for its world-renowned canal and vibrant capital city; but what many don’t realize is that this land holds deep cultural authenticity.
1. Invest in Education
Panama has experienced an enormous divide between its citizens and politicians. A series of high-level political and business scandals involving Odebrecht has caused widespread mistrust of their leaders, prompting many Panamanians to feel that they have incompetent and dishonest leaders in charge.
As a response, citizens have taken to the streets in nonviolent demonstrations to demand accountability from their government. Such events and similar initiatives to promote greater transparency have persuaded leaders from various governments to pledge greater openness and civic debate in response.
A technical unit established to assess Panama’s political structure found that local governments (provinces, districts and corregimientos) only collect modest sums for their communities and lack infrastructure necessary for identifying needs and implementing projects. As a result, this unit was assigned the task of designing a system to provide more funding as well as improved infrastructure to strengthen their communities.
Panamanian Supreme Court justices serve shorter ten-year terms than their American counterparts, providing them with a sense of urgency to build public trust in their judiciary. In addition, hiring processes have been revised in order to encourage merit, while efforts have also been undertaken to centralize judicial services in Panama City to speed up court processes.
2. Invest in Health
As Panama seeks to recover from COVID-19 pandemic, trust and credibility must be rebuilt with citizens. One strategy to do this is mobilizing private investments in infrastructure development: new airport terminal, Metro line 2, third bridge over Panama Canal and convention center all require major investments; updating other infrastructure is also likely needed; however these projects could be endangered by poor government practices like bidding procedures, land titling issues and adhering to contract obligations that might jeopardize them.
Additional challenges include slow implementation of reforms to the judicial system and corruption within police force; additionally, high costs for medicines remain an ongoing challenge. Only two biomedical research institutions exist in Peru, and scientific production in comparison to other Latin American nations is considerably low. Furthermore, discrimination against racial minorities remains common and Indigenous rights are inadequately protected. Additionally, it would be wise to adopt policies which promote transparency and accountability within the economy, such as following the World Bank’s Anticorruption Initiatives or understanding and addressing facilitators of corruption. Furthermore, consultation protocols must be established with communities who may be affected by planned projects.
3. Invest in Infrastructure
Panama is best known for its canal connecting the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, but it also boasts an abundant economy and vibrant culture. Unfortunately, however, poverty rates continue to persist disproportionately affecting rural indigenous territories; corruption scandals such as Odebrecht have created friction between Panamanian citizens and politicians alike.
Panama faces unique challenges that require it to adopt a new social contract that tackles corruption while offering equal opportunities for all its people. To achieve this goal, investments must be made in infrastructure, education and healthcare services. Reducing civil unrest by identifying weaknesses in its health, social, and education systems. Panama must act swiftly to address its vulnerabilities during the COVID-19 pandemic and emerge from this crisis with a dynamic and inclusive recovery, using tools provided by the World Bank’s recently introduced Anticorruption Initiatives that enable it to meet global standards, understand elite networks of corruption, and fight corruption facilitation.
4. Invest in Culture
Panama’s government has instituted various policies designed to attract foreign investment, making them one of the top countries in Latin America for Foreign Direct Investment (FDI). Unfortunately, a general mistrust exists among its population regarding politicians and state-run organizations due to multiple corruption scandals implicating both its president and other officials with unfair business practices, embezzlement or other forms of misconduct.
Trust must be restored for our nation to move past its difficulties and realize its full potential. Cortizo and Martinell battled fiercely over this issue during their election campaigns, with Cortizo garnering widespread voter support when he attempted to distance himself from groups which have breached it in the past.
Panama can invest in its cultural heritage and tourism sector to help revitalize its economy, using strategies such as visitor legacy philanthropy funds to assist local communities and indigenous territories, or supporting sustainable tourism projects like interpretive centers or eco-lodges – which will also provide local communities with new sources of income.
5. Invest in Tourism
Panama, like many Latin American nations, is still relatively young as a democracy, yet corruption runs deep through its history and deprives many Panamanians of quality public services and saps its economic potential.
Panama must address its challenges effectively to secure its future prosperity, prioritizing investments that strengthen state institutions and restore their credibility.
Panamanians identify certain key issues as key impediments to investment, including high minimum wages and lengthy processes for firing employees as major obstacles to investing. Furthermore, their technical employees lack language fluency needed for full investment projects. To achieve this objective, they will have to address some key barriers they perceive to be holding them back such as: high minimum wages; lengthy procedures for firing them off and lack of competent technical employees who speak English well enough as potential issues that must be overcome before investing can take place.
As more conscious travelers opt for travel destinations where locals have an influential say in how tourists spend their dollars, Panama could seize this trend and become one of the premier tourist spots. But to do this, Panama must address its corruption issues and build public trust in its institutions.