Public Papers

Statement on Economic Assistance to Panama


In early January, I sent Deputy Secretary of State Lawrence Eagleburger and Deputy Secretary of the Treasury John Robson to Panama to discuss with President Endara, Vice Presidents Ford and Arias Calderon, and their advisers ways the United States could help in Panama's economic reconstruction. They returned enormously impressed with the commitment of President Endara and his economic team to reform Panama's economy and get it moving again. I share their enthusiasm. Yet the economic challenges Panama faces are great and will require the help of its many friends around the world.

To assist Panama, I have approved a far-reaching economic recovery plan, valued at about billion. The plan has two main parts:

loans, guarantees, and export opportunities valued at over 0 million to strengthen Panama's private sector and to help create jobs, including million in humanitarian assistance for housing those displaced from the Chorillo area, for emergency public works, and to help businesses affected by the looting;

a 0 million assistance package for balance of payments support, public investment and restructuring, and to assist Panama to normalize its relations with the international financial institutions.

The Vice President will personally review the details of this plan with President Endara during his visit to Panama.

Through these and other programs I am announcing today, the United States has made good on its word to assist the Government of Panama and the Panamanian people in their efforts to restore the health of Panama's economy. Private sector initiatives, supported by the Government's economic reform policies, will be the key to Panama's recovery, enabling the entrepreneurial talents of the Panamanian people to flourish. We will continue to work with the people of Panama to build a prosperous, democratic nation.