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  • 15 Jul 2020 3:34 PM | Sarah Carroll (Administrator)

    Since the first releases of Wolbachia-carrying mosquitoes in Queensland, Australia in 2011, the World Mosquito Program (WMP) has been working to implement its method to eliminate mosquito-borne diseases in places at risk all over the world. 

    A major arm of the operation is situated in the Americas – with active projects running in Mexico, Colombia and Brazil. While the global pandemic has temporarily delayed the opening of WMP’s third hub-office in Panama, projects in these three countries remain key pillars for the organisation’s ambitions to protect 100 million people globally within the next five years. “We remain committed to sustainable growth – plain and simple,” says WMP Regional Director Janina Khayali. “If we succeed with national roll out in Brazil, Colombia and Mexico alone, we will have achieved the Americas portion of this goal, but our eyes are always on the horizon to achieve far beyond that.” WMP began working in Brazil in 2012. In Rio de Janeiro and Niterói, Wolbachia-carrying mosquitoes have been released in an area covering a population of around 1.3 million people. While data from the releases continues to be analyzed, plans are ramping up to roll out projects in Belo Horizonte and Campo Grande. In Colombia, releases have taken place in Bello and Medellin, protecting over 2.5 million people. The cities of Cali and other municipalities within the Valle de Cauca are next in line. While in Mexico, the project will re-establish  city-wide releases across La Paz later this year with national roll-out in motion.  

    The program paused releases of mosquitoes in communities due to the pandemic in order to help keep staff and communities safe. With a growing body of evidence to support the success of the method, the focus for the program has shifted to the question of how to scale – how it can protect as many people as possible quickly, efficiently and cost effectively. The recent spread of the novel CoronaVirus together with alarming numbers of dengue cases have provided a grim reminder of the impossible task of controlling multiple outbreaks simultaneously.  

    Progress is positive in the three countries mentioned above, but there are plenty of other countries, cities and communities in which diseases spread by Aedes aegypti is a common and debilitating threat. Khayali names Peru, Paraguay, El Salvador and the Virgin Islands as places where discussions have begun. But as long as diseases like dengue, Mayaro Zika and chikungunya continue to surface, there will be keen interest in getting things rolling across the entire continent. “Our model is designed to build the capacity in communities so they can protect themselves from mosquito-borne disease. This requires building trust and developing strong relationships across the region. If we can achieve this, we’ll be one step closer to a world free from the devastating health and economic burdens these diseases continue to inflict.” The World Mosquito program is very interested in building strong partnership and building support for its work so more people can be protected. 

    If you are interested in learning more or supporting the World  Mosquito Program’s work please contact Enrica Longo, Director External Relations.  

    Enrica works with the global team from Vietnam. 

    +84 901859466

  • 1 Jul 2020 3:35 PM | Sarah Carroll (Administrator)
    Panama, centrally located between North America and South America, offers the ideal environment to make your business grow stronger due to its political and economic  stability, besides other advantages, such as the multimodal logistics platform and great air and sea connectivity. The Panama Canal, ports and air hub, the financial district with more than 70 banks, Colon Free Trade Zone, the second largest in the world, allow connection to be made with a market of more than 600 million users in Latin America and the Caribbean.     

    The Embassy of Panama in Australia and Pro Panama invites businesspeople to attend Panama’s first virtual, multi-sectorial, international trade exhibition. This virtual exhibition will provide a chance to see the products and services that participating companies have to offer in the areas of: ·       

    Coffee – Cocoa - Chocolate      

    Fresh Products      

    Seafood – Aquaculture - Meat Products      

    Agro-Industrial Products  

    Industrial Products      

    Creative Industries      


    Over the five days, there will be two conferences held per day with the first beginning at 9:00 am GMT –5 and the second at 2:00 pm GMT -5. 

    Benefits for visitors 

     1.  Without complex registration processes. 

     2.  Secure and immediate access. 

     3.  Compatible with all mobile devices. 

     4.  Availability 24 hours. 

     5.  No congestion, no lines.

    6.  No visual or auditory contamination. 

    ExpoVirtual is a virtual international business platform that will help us to improve trade and the economic development of Panama, the region and the world. Join us at the 1st ExpoVirtual and take advantage of all the great business opportunities that it will provide.   

    The schedule of conferences is as follows: 

    Monday 6th 

    The competitiveness of export SMEs in the new business context. Hosted by Diego Frediani – General Manager, Red Globlal de Exportaciones How to do business with Canada? Hosted by Marysabel González – Project Manager, Latin America and the Caribbean / Trade Support Services TFO – Canada. 

    Tuesday 7th 

    How to do business with Australia?

    Hosted by Marcelo Salas – Chief Executive Officer, Australia-Latin America Business Council (ALABC). How to do business with Israel (FTA)? Hosted by Salvador Aviad Cattan – Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture Panama – Israel; Roberto Spindel – President Israel - Latin American Chamber of Commerce. 

    Wednesday 8th Technology:   

    Blockchain   for exporting  business.    

    Hosted by David Proenza – CEO de Foodchain. E-commerce to boost your business exports. Hosted by Raquel García – Assistant Vice President of E-commerce – Credicorp Bank, CAPATEC’s President. 

    Thursday 9th: 

    Market value chains and its benefits. Hosted by Eduardo Espinoza – Director of the Centre for Studies on Economic Integration – SIECA. The new productivity, a decision not an option for the export sector. Hosted by Alex Atencio – CEO of iaConcepts. 

    Friday 10th: 

    Creative Industries, an alternative for development. Hosted by Leda Peralta – Economic Affairs Officer (ECLAC). The fashion industry as a development motor. Hosted by Samantha Tams – Co-founder Latam Fashion Summit – LAFS. 

    People, who are interested in attending, can use this link to register: 


    contact our diplomatic mission in Canberra:   


    Phone: +61 61346737 

     Address : Suite 2, level 2, 99 Northbourne Avenue, Turner, ACT 2612, Canberra, Australia. 

    Social Media: @embpanamaaustralia 


  • 25 May 2020 3:39 PM | Sarah Carroll (Administrator)

    On May 13, the Inter-American Dialogue hosted the online webinar “Innovation and Technology in Latin America’s Post-Pandemic Recovery” with the participation of Carmen Pagés-Serra, Chief of the Labor Markets and Social Security Unit at the Inter-American Development Bank, Andrés Cadena, Senior Partner at McKinsey & Co., Ángel Melguizo, Vice President, External & Regulatory Affairs at AT&T DirecTV Latin America, and Victor Muñoz, National Innovation and Digital Transformation Advisor at the Colombian Presidency. The session was moderated by Michael Shifter, president of the Inter-American Dialogue.

    Muñoz began by emphasizing the necessity and importance of telework, telemedicine, and tele-education. While the present situation has forced many companies to quickly adjust in order to survive, the resulting shift to digital platforms also provides access to new forms of learning for people all over the world. As an advisor to the Colombian president, Muñoz and his team have been working on a digital transformation strategy for the last two years, including the creation of a center in Medellín focused on artificial intelligence. With the pandemic, new instruments have emerged from his department such as the “Coronapp” which allows citizens to receive daily information from the government without consuming data. Muñoz identified Colombia’s main challenge to be connectivity, and he intends to work to increase access in vulnerable areas in the next two years. He ended his remarks on a hopeful tone: while the job market will be very different after the pandemic, it will also present an opportunity to reinvent a new world supported by technology and innovation.

  • 9 May 2020 3:40 PM | Sarah Carroll (Administrator)

    Mauricio Montalvo is currently the Ambassador of Ecuador to Australia.

    Ambassador Montalvo is a senior career diplomat with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.  He entered to the Ecuadorian Foreign Service as Third Secretary in 1982 and continued his career in different posts locally and oversees.  He was promoted to the rank of Ambassador in 2005.

    He has served overseas as Ambassador, Permanent Representative to the United Nations and other international organizations in Geneva (2006-2011), Deputy Head of Mission at the Permanent Delegation to UNESCO in Paris (1996-2001), First Secretary at the Permanent Mission to United Nations in New York (1990-1992) and Second Secretary at the Permanent Mission to OAS in Washington DC (1987-1989).

    At the Ministry, he was most recently Under-Secretary for International Cooperation (2018-2019), Under-Secretary for Multilateral Affairs (2011-2014) and Under-Secretary for International Organizations (2005-2006).  Previously and during several years he served as Coordinator, Director General, Spokesperson and Diplomatic Officer.

  • 30 Apr 2020 3:43 PM | Sarah Carroll (Administrator)

    International students will receive a relief payment of up to $1,100 as part of a Victorian Government emergency support package that will help tens of thousands of people across our state.

    International students are a vital part of our education system, our economy and our community. They give so much to Victoria – not just through the fees they pay, but also through the economic activity they generate for our businesses, and the contribution they make to our vibrant, inclusive society.

    Like so many people during this pandemic, international students have been affected by casual job losses in retail and hospitality, making it even tougher for them to make ends meet. Many have also fallen through the cracks of Federal Government programs – unable to access the support they need to support themselves.

    To ensure Victoria’s international students can buy the basics and get through to the other side of the crisis, the Victorian Government will establish a $45 million International Student Emergency Relief Fund.

    The fund will provide a one-off payment to students in need while expanding emergency provisions for those experiencing exceptional circumstances.

    Up to 40,000 international students enrolled at Victorian universities, TAFEs, private vocational education and training providers and English language colleges who have lost wages and work due to the coronavirus pandemic could benefit from the relief payment, which covers demonstrated lost income up to $1,100.

    The payments, which will require co-contributions from university hardship funds, build on existing Victorian Government support provided to international students through the Study Melbourne Student Centre such as free legal aid and mental health services.

    More than 150,000 international students currently living in Victoria are also eligible for the Victorian Government’s rent relief program, including subsidies of up to $2,000, and those legally allowed to work in Victoria are eligible for the Working for Victoria initiative, which helps people who have lost their jobs to find new employment.

    International education generated $12.6 billion revenue for Victoria last financial year, supporting around 79,000 jobs, with most students coming from China, India, Nepal, Malaysia and Vietnam.

    For more information about the relief fund and other dedicated support, go to

    Quotes attributable to Minister for Jobs, Innovation and Trade Martin Pakula

    “International students give so much to Victoria – it’s only fair we support them in their hour of need.”

    “This virus doesn’t discriminate and neither do we – we are in this together and we will get through it together.” 

    Quote attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino

    “It’s important that we back the people who have made such a strong commitment to our state, and we will make sure that our education providers can emerge from the other side of this crisis in a position to quickly rebuild.”

    Quote attributable to Minister for Training and Skills and Higher Education Gayle Tierney

    We’ll continue to work closely with the sector to give international students the support they need so they can continue to focus on their studies.”



  • 22 Apr 2020 3:46 PM | Sarah Carroll (Administrator)

    WEG announced the signature of a technology transfer agreement with LEISTUNG Equipamentos Ltda., Manufacturer of Medical-Hospital Equipment, to produce artificial ventilators that will be used by patients tested positive for COVID-19.

    The contract, signed between the companies, grants WEG the license to produce the ventilator based on the mechanical ventilation device “Luft-3” from LEISTUNG.

    WEG will use the current structure of its factories in Jaraguá do Sul, in the state of Santa Catarina, to produce ventilators and works with the possibility of adjusting the project to speed up production.The plan is to immediately purchase all required components in order to produce 500 ventilators. Once the production line is installed, WEG will have an estimated capacity to produce 50 ventilators per day and deliver in mid-May.

    We now depend on obtaining electronic and pneumatic components, many of which are imported and are currently in short supply in the market”, says Manfred Peter Johann, Managing Director of WEG Automation.

    The implementation of the production line will follow all heath hygiene protocols and other protective measures recommended by health authorities for all industries.



    WEG to produce ventilators1.pdf

  • 15 Apr 2020 4:03 PM | Sarah Carroll (Administrator)

    The World Bank has just published its semi-annual report on Latin America and the Caribbean. The report seeks to assess how Latin America should respond to the health and the economic crisis in 2020, whether it should maintain or implement general or targeted measures to contain the COVID-19 surge, how deep will the recession be in Guatemala, Argentina, Mexico, Uruguay, Chile, Suriname and other 20 countries in the region and who should bear the losses that will stem from this economic calamity.

    Its assessment of economic performance highlights that:

    • “The growth performance of the region had become lacklustre after the end of the Golden Decade, and the year 2019 had not been an exception in this respect. But after months of social unrest in many of the countries and a new oil shock, the Covid-19 epidemic and its impact on the world economy raise the prospect of a calamitous year for 2020.
    • The bone-chilling perspective of 2020 GDP growth by country:




    St. Lucia












    El Salvador




    St. Vincent and the Grenadines








    Costa Rica
























    • “Because of the unusual depth and unprecedented characteristics of the ongoing economic crisis, real-time measures of economic activity are needed.”

    On health and economic costs it explains that:

    • Three areas may help understand and address the shock.
    • “Assessing the economic cost per life saved requires an estimate of the death toll Covid-19 would have imposed in the absence of containment measures. For example, the influential epidemiological study by the Imperial College in London predicted 2.2 million deaths in the US in the absence of decisive action to contain the epidemic. If 2 million deaths could be avoided thanks to containment measures, the economic cost would amount to less than USD 0.5 million per life saved (this is USD 1 trillion divided by 2 million). Given that the estimates for the statistical value of a life in the US fall in the range of USD 6-9 million, the cost of the containment measures adopted is totally justified.”
    • “Governments in developing countries could use similar back-of-the-envelope calculations to get a sense of the economic cost that could be justified in their case to contain the Covid-19 epidemic. The calculation would involve two key figures: the assessment of the number of deaths the epidemic would cause if left uncontained, and the value of statistical life used by agencies in charge of developing transport infrastructure, developing health and safety standards or setting environmental policy.”

    On addressing the economic crisis, it states that:

    • Moves to prevent a financial crisis, to protect jobs and to revitalize private investment, “will entail a change in the relationship between the public and the private sector, leading to a greater role of the state for possibly quite some time.”
    • “The process of acquiring and managing assets needs to be perceived as transparent and professional to maintain confidence in the government. This may also allow decision makers to take urgently needed measures without fearing prosecution in the future.”
    • “In the medium term, the priority has to be the divestiture of state assets to the private sector. Individual cases will need to be reviewed, and balance sheet repair solutions be designed. Benchmark-linked sales of government shares in companies will have to be arranged. While this is not an immediate priority, government should communicate clearly on the direction of travel, establishing a timeline and setting up sunset clauses wherever appropriate.

    Please read the full report below:

    The LatAm Economy in the time of Covid-19_World Bank.pdf

  • 15 Apr 2020 3:57 PM | Sarah Carroll (Administrator)

    • Amid the coronavirus pandemic, lockdowns and aggressive social-distancing measures are required to save lives and countries across Latin America and the Caribbean have put them in place.
    • As a result of the changing macroeconomic conditions, financing costs for emerging markets have risen and commodity prices have fallen.
    • There will be large drops in GDP, but this is not a normal recession, so typical countercyclical demand management, both fiscal and monetary, is likely inconducive.
    • Policies should be aimed to provide relief, maintain economic stability and the core of the economy intact for the recovery.


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