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Panama’s free trade zone demands better conditions after fire

Panama’s free trade zone demands better conditions after fire

Panama City, Jan 11 (Prensa Latina) The Association of Users of the Colon Free Zone (ZLC) of Panama today demanded better conditions, after a devastating fire that took place yesterday in warehouses of the company France Field.

This group pointed out in a communiqué the multiple problems that have been denounced for years, such as the lack of water, a proper internal fire station, water tankers, trained personnel and ambulances; it also demanded concrete actions from the Government.

For their part, Fire Department officials admitted that the main obstacle to confine the fire of maximum proportions was that the hydrants of the free zone did not have the necessary water pressure to start the work, which caused that six of the 10 warehouses of a cosmetics store of the CFZ were affected.

The association of users of the CFZ demanded the Executive to adopt urgent measures to restore the confidence of locals, investors and visitors, which will allow to continue contributing in an important way to the national economy and generate new opportunities to increase the more than 15 thousand direct jobs and 60 thousand indirect jobs.

In relation to the specific situation of the free trade zone, the Users Association expresses its concern for the critical infrastructure situation due to the lack of preventive maintenance and the lack of timely and punctual investments during the successive administrations.

The lack of immediate and sufficient reaction capacity on the part of the Colon Fire Department, which required the support of the Fire Department of the Capital City and the Panama Canal Authority, is the result of the government’s negligence and lack of will, the message states.

It also mentions that if the main problems are not solved, the recent commitments of the President of the Republic, Laurentino Cortizo, to review the Bill for the modernization of the Colon Free Zone, issued in a meeting with business and civic groups of the province, are useless.


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