Panama Metro February 2013 Progress Update

Panama’s mass transit commuter system “Metro Panama” is 72% complete, and according to a statement made by the National Metro Secretary, with over 3500 workers are on the project. Organizers are planning the first public testing of Panama’s new metro commuter train system to start in December of this year. It was also announced that the Japanese government has expressed interest in financing the third line of the metro, which will run from Albrook Terminal across the Panama Canal to La Chorrera.The first Metro line will travel 13.7 miles from Albrook Mall to Los Andes in a time of 23 minutes and will carry 15,000 people daily.

In other news, a record shipment of bell peppers was recorded leaving Panama, bound for Miami, Florida. The company Veggie Fresh, whose 40 hectare operation in Chiriqui includes an onsite processing plant and temperature controlled warehouse, along with a 10-hectare growing facility is setting a new standard for high tech agricultural production. The announcement was made on the heels of their January FDA approval.

The facility is hydroponic-based and utilizes Israeli technology, representing an investment of $ 16.2 million, the capital of which was contributed by a group of 18 local investors. The plan is to ship 40,000 pounds per week in 11.5 pound boxes, which will sell on the wholesale market for approximately $15.64 per box.

Because the harvest cycle begins in October and ends on May 31 of the following year, the Panamanian growing cycle favors producers in this region, since the main competitors Mexico and Canada are not producing during that time.

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