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Panama, Mexico sign trade pact

Playa Bonita, Panama, Apr 3 (EFE).- Panama signed a free-trade deal here Thursday with Mexico, paving the way for the Central American country's entry into the Pacific Alliance trade bloc. Panamanian Trade Minister Ricardo Quijano and Mexican Economy Secretary Ildefonso Guajardo Villarreal signed the pact, while Panamanian President Ricardo Martinelli and Mexican counterpart Enrique Peña Nieto witnessed the signing ceremony.

At least 7 dead in Panama City fire

Panama City, Mar 31 (EFE).- At least seven people died when a fire broke out in a large house near the office of Panama's president, authorities and media outlets said Monday. A woman and her daughter jumped from the building's balcony to escape the flames but died later at a local hospital and the charred remains of five people were found Monday among the ruins of the house in the capital's Old Town section, raising the death toll to seven, authorities said.

Technology and human resources not developed equally in LatAm

Panama City, Mar 14 (EFE).- Latin America is making a big effort to apply information technology (IT) to improve the quality of public services, but lacks trained personnel to handle it, the Latin American Administration Center for Development, or CLAD, said. "If you don't have human resources capable of adequately managing the technology, you won't get anywhere," CLAD Secretary-General Gregorio Montero told Efe after speaking at the 2nd International Seminar on Innovative Experiences in Effective Public Management, which began last Thursday in the Panamanian capital.

Deal reached resolving Panama Canal row

A row over $1.6 billion in cost overruns on construction to widen the Panama Canal has been resolved, the parties said Friday, ensuring completion of the massive project. The Panama Canal Authority and the consortium "Grupo Unidos por el Canal" (GUPC) announced "a final agreement in principle" after intense talks to resolve a two-month-long standoff. "The plan here is that we would enter into commercial operations in January 2016," said Jorge Quijano, the canal administrator. Under the original schedule, the canal expansion was supposed to have been ready this year.

Deal reached resolving Panama Canal row

A row over $1.6 billion in cost overruns on construction to widen the Panama Canal has been resolved, the parties said Friday, ensuring completion of the massive project. The Panama Canal Authority and the consortium "Grupo Unidos por el Canal" (GUPC) announced "a final agreement in principle" after intense talks to resolve a two-month-long standoff. "The plan here is that we would enter into commercial operations in January 2016," said Jorge Quijano, the canal administrator. Under the original schedule, the canal expansion was supposed to have been ready this year.

Panama Canal authority says deal reached with European-led consortium expanding waterway

PANAMA CITY - The Panama Canal Authority says it has reached an agreement to end a dispute over $1.6 billion in cost overruns with the European-led construction consortium that is expanding the waterway. The announcement by canal administrator Jorge Luis Quijano comes a week after work on the project resumed following a two-week stoppage by the consortium. A statement Thursday from the authority says the deal still must be reviewed and signed. It is designed to allow for the project to be completed by December 2015.

Panama Canal expansion work to resume after deal with consortium

By Lomi Kriel and Sonya Dowsett PANAMA CITY/MADRID (Reuters) - Work on the multibillion dollar Panama Canal expansion was restarting on Thursday after a partial agreement between the Canal authorities and a Spanish-led consortium, raising hopes for the program after a two-week hiatus due to a cost row. An agreement announced late on Wednesday allows work to restart while the two sides continue talks on how the project is financed through to completion, a process which they have given themselves 72 hours to complete.

Panama Canal chief reports agreements in principle to solve some parts of expansion dispute

PANAMA CITY - Panama Canal Administrator Jorge Quijano said Wednesday the agency has reached tentative agreement with contractors on some of the issues that have stalled work on the biggest expansion of the waterway in a century. But Quijano also told a meeting of Panama's Chamber of Commerce and Industry that the Panama Canal Authority might take over the project if no final agreement is reached this week.

Panama says freed North Korean ship to sail later Wednesday

By Lomi Kriel PANAMA CITY (Reuters) - A North Korean ship detained near the Panama Canal for smuggling Cuban weapons will set sail with most of its crew aboard later on Wednesday after the ship's representatives paid a trafficking fine to free it, Panama's government said. The Chong Chon Gang ship was seized in July for smuggling Soviet-era arms, including two MiG-21 jet fighters, under thousands of tonnes of sugar.

Panama says freed North Korean ship to sail later Wednesday

By Lomi Kriel PANAMA CITY (Reuters) - A North Korean ship detained near the Panama Canal for smuggling Cuban weapons will set sail with most of its crew aboard later on Wednesday after the ship's representatives paid a trafficking fine to free it, Panama's government said. The Chong Chon Gang ship was seized in July for smuggling Soviet-era arms, including two MiG-21 jet fighters, under thousands of tonnes of sugar.
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