Del Monte faces delays in Panama banana production investment
The Panamanian Government has acknowledged that talks with multinational Del Monte on re-establishing banana production in a Bocas del Toro region have been delayed.
Website Panamaamerica.com.pa reported the government had said negotiations had gone on longer than expected, but added there was an 'agreement in principle' with the U.S.-headquartered company.
"Negotiations have been delayed, but negotiations such as these are complex. There were various key points, such as one relating to land, which were made complicated by the fact that they cannot carry out the purchase. And also because multinationals like Del Monte have their internal protocols," Minister of the Presidency Álvaro Alemán was quoted as saying.
According to Alemán, talks are in their 'final stage' and the 'agreement in principle' will likely be presented to the Cabinet Council on Nov. 1.
Once the draft contact has been approved, it will then be referred to the country's public spending watchdog, Alemán said.
He added the government wanted to conclude the negotiations as soon as possible so that Del Monte could begin its operations.
The draft contract, which is valid for 20 years, states a minimum of US$100 million must be invested over a period of seven years, the minister said.
When contacted by www.freshfruitportal.com, Del Monte said it had no comment on the issue.