Quarantine has caused $1 billion in sales loss
The president of the Chamber of Commerce, Industries and Agriculture of Panama, Jean-Pierre Leignadier, pointed out that the quarantine during the first fortnight of the year caused an impact of around $ 1 billion in loss of commercial activity.
The businessman explained that it is an estimate of sales losses, that is, sales that were stopped in the sectors affected by the closure during the first two weeks of the year. The most affected activity, in his opinion, would be commercial.
In a conservatory that he has with the media on a weekly basis and that is held virtually, Leignadier also referred to the impact dragged on during 2020 by the mobility restriction measures and the closure of economic activities. He said that according to the figures that are known, the year began with 200,000 people with suspended contracts
He referred to the especially critical situation that some sectors of the economy are experiencing, such as tourism and restaurants. Regarding the latter, he said that they are going through an "unsustainable situation that is drowning the sector." That is why he supported that establishments be allowed to open with the proper security measures and capacity, as was done with the opening in September 2020.
"There are some restaurants focused on home delivery, but the vast majority depend on face-to-face care," said Leignadier, who recalled that the restaurants have not received any type of financial support that allows them to maintain the more than 35,000 jobs and give continuity to its operations.
On tourism, he said that it is a key sector for the economy and for economic recovery. "It is important that the conditions are created that allow companies in the sector to prepare for the moment when there is a greater flow of tourists."
The president of the union insisted that the indefinite closure of national parks, trails and beaches during weekends, contradicts the very essence of these areas. "The authorities have to understand that this is not where the contagion is," he said.