How has CAPAC ensured the consolidation of the construction sector in Panama?
CAPAC is a business organization founded in 1961 to bring together the main construction companies in the country and open spaces for companies engaged in other commercial activities related to construction. Among these are developers of real estate projects, financial service providers, bondholders, suppliers of goods and services for construction, real estate brokers, and professionals linked to the sector.
How does CAPAC promote the sustained growth of construction in Panama?
As an organization, we propose to the government authorities and municipal entities legislative and regulatory proposals that favor the performance of the industry. These initiatives are submitted to the government authorities, who analyze them and determine their viability and benefits for the sector and economy in general. In addition, we maintain permanent and harmonious relations with the different governments, since in addition to being regulators of the activity, they represent close to 50% of the annual investment in construction. Additionally, we offer an extensive program of services to our members such as training programs, technical guidance, statistical information, legal studies, economic evaluations, and free labor advice, among others. In fact, one of the most important services is the organization of two annual housing and construction fairs in support of the commercial stage of the industry.
What is the profile of the members of CAPAC?
Our members are classified according to the activity they develop, general contractors, project promoters, suppliers of goods and supplies, including manufacturers of the main inputs such as cement and concrete, banking entities with portfolios to finance industry activities, surety and insurance, real estate brokers and professionals linked to the sector.
How do you renew memberships and recruit new members?
In its early years CAPAC was made up of traditional contractors and a limited number of suppliers of goods and services to the industry. With the passage of time, we have tried to incorporate representatives of different activities related to construction and mainly add to the membership, young entrepreneurs with a new vision for industry, the economy, and business.
What is the position of CAPAC regarding the increase of foreign companies in the local market?
Panama has historically been a country of open doors and without restrictions to the participation of foreign companies in our country. However, in the last 10 years, due to the development of large construction projects in the country, the presence of foreign companies has displaced the participation of traditionally Panamanian companies in the execution of works, mainly of large public investments. CAPAC has reacted to this situation by claiming the spaces that correspond to traditional Panamanian companies, under equal conditions and without exclusive terms and specifications in the bidding documents for the contracting of public works. The correction of this distortion is one of the main requests that CAPAC has made to the new government.
How would you describe the role that CAPAC will take on the outcome of the new elections?
As CAPAC is a business union without political preferences, we are committed to working jointly with the elected government, and we will maintain our policy of proposing favorable actions to the industry and supporting the government of all Panamanians in everything that is beneficial to the country and our population. In conclusion, we will support the management of government as it favors the national welfare and we will be constructive critics of actions that are not in the best interests of the country.