REPORT #450 December 2001

Produced by the Belize Development Trust

( quote from Stephan Egan via Belize Culture Listserve )

"While the parameters of the telecommunications sector are constantly being redefined, evidence suggests that Panama's aggressive stance on telecommunications privatization has secured Panama's' position as Latin America's pioneer. The advent of increased competition, from both locally and internationally based companies, will likely translate into a much improved telecommunications infrastructure, as well as more modern services and competitive pricing. In addition, Panama enjoys a higher standard of living when compared to its Central American brethren, and while the rest of Latin America emerges from one currency crisis after another, Panama's dollarized economy has proved to be the regions most stable economic platform for international investors. This combination will likely attract other predators into Panama's communications market including the Spanish telecommunications giant Telefonica Espała. Spain's telecommunications giant may be interested in adding Panama to it's trophy shelf of Latin America prizes, as they have been on a buying orgy in Latin America over the past few years, purchasing phone and internet companies alike. They have also been very successful with their internet endeavour, Terra Networks. Similarly, on can't ignore the presence of the new wireless behemoth, Vodafone Mannesman, currently the worlds largest wireless company. It may only be a question of time before it stretches it tentacles into the warm south American waters."

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