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Port privatization in Panama

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Abstract

In previous papers we have looked at open registries, the Panama maritime sector and Panama Canal operations and management. No maritime study of Panama is complete, however, without a detailed look at the Panama Canal's main port system, which has enjoyed remarkable growth since the privatization of the terminal ports of Cristóbal and Balboa in 1995. This paper looks at the evolution and development of the Canal's port system; its stewardship, initially by the American authorities governing the Canal and, post-transition, by the Panamanians, and includes a study of the driving forces that led to privatization. We will conclude by looking at the results of the successful reform of the system, currently considered a primary model for other Latin American countries.

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