Panama has become a telecommunications hub for the Americas, which has not yet reached its full potential. All of the main fiber optic submarine cables pass through our Isthmus, and substantial investments in recent years in the area of call centers and telecommunications providers demonstrate that Panama’s strategic advantages have attracted important international players, such as Dell, Spherion, Global Crossing, Nortel, among others.
The telecommunications industry has generated, in the period from 2013 to 2015, an average gross revenue of US $ 1 trillion per year, directly. Telecommunication services are authorized by the National Authority of Public Services (ASEP) to be commercially exploited or for their own purposes, by 2016 more than 1,346 concessions were granted. Our attorneys have been advisers on a significant number of these and on derivative actions for their operations.
The basic telecommunications sector in Panama was deregulated as of January 2, 2003. The services open to competition are the following (click for details).
ENERGY & ENVIRONMENTAL
In 1996, the Republic of Panama began to restructure the electrical sector, through the enactment of laws and regulations to promote the development of competition in its activities. The only regulated activities are those, which by their very nature, cannot sustain competition and are open to monopolistic practices. The law contemplates the state's intervention only in cases of abuses of a dominant position.
Patton, Moreno & Asvat provides advice in the following aspects, but not limited to:
General legal advice on energy laws and regulations.
Concession regimes for the construction, operation, transmission and distribution of energy.
Legal advisory on regulatory matters before the National Authority of Public Services (ASEP).
Legal advice on licensing agreements and operations and purchase of energy.
Mergers and Acquisitions of energy companies.
Financing and joint venture contracts for energy projects.
HYDROCARBONS & GAS
The Panama Canal and our geographic position of the Republic of Panama is, in most of the cases, an obligatory stop for most of the international service vessels. This offers a great advantage to companies interested in participating in the hydrocarbon market, as much local as internationally.
In this sense, our country counts with more than eleven (11) Free Zones of Petroleum with a capacity of storage of approximately 30.7 million barrels. In these Zones, as much the nationals as the foreigners, naturals or companies, can import, process, refine, store, trade, sell, provide, export, re-export and conduct oil operations of any kind. All this duty free, whenever you export or sell to vessels that are users of the Panama Canal or the aircrafts users of the Tocumen International Airport or any other international airport.
We count in addition, with a Pipe line of 131 kilometers in length and transfers crude petroleum from the Pacific to the Atlantic. This Pipe line has a capacity of pumping of 800.000 barrels per day and 2,5 million barrels of storage in each one of its terminals, the Pacific (“Charco Azul”) and in the Atlantic (“Chiriquí Grande”).
Additionally, we offer a series of harbor facilities through the international ports located in Balboa, Roadman, Cristóbal, Charco Azul, Chiriquí Grande and Bahía Las Minas, which are equipped and with storage infrastructures, pumping, mixes and hydrocarbon transfer, among others.
In this sense, the regulatory frame of the Panamanian hydrocarbon market is it the Decree No.36 of 2003, which establishes a series of obligatory requirements in order to obtain the required concessions, permissions or registries to participate in local and international hydrocarbon market.
Between services that we rendered in this area are the followings:
Obtaining petroleum free zone concessions.
Obtaining of required permits necessary in order to execute the activities related to import, export, storage, sale, distribution, inspection, analysis and transfer, among others, of petroleum derived products.
Registry of companies in the General Directorate of Hydrocarbons of the Ministry of Commerce and Industries of Panama.