Panama: Nuestro Futuro Después De Los Papeles De Panamá

Last Updated: 4 November 2016
Article by Zumara Garrido Acosta

Luego de la filtración de documentos de la firma de abogados panameños Mossack-Fonseca a través del titular Panamá Papers, el sistema legal y financiero del país, se ha visto trastocado, ya que de manera injusta se ha tratado de desvirtuar la imagen de Panamá y al mismo tiempo socavar la industria legítima de la creación de empresas offshore.

Evidentemente ésta situación tendrá efectos directos sobre la economía y el desarrollo del país, con lo cual resulta necesario evaluar el futuro de Panamá y de igual forma tomar medidas que aseguren la estabilidad económica del país, sin que se vea irrespetada nuestra soberanía.

Debemos dejar claro que la creación de sociedades anónimas no es una actividad ilícita, y que la misma, desde la promulgación de la ley en 1927, ha sido modificada en distintas ocasiones para adaptarse a la sociedad y a la globalización, no obstante la filtración de Panamá Papers demuestra que en la mayoría de los casos los documentos no muestran una ilegalidad, pero destacan lo necesario que resulta regular las compañías offshore para que no sean utilizadas por políticos corruptos, narcotraficantes, terroristas y criminales para esconder y lavar su dinero.

Las consecuencias de este hecho nos obligan a analizar los cambios en materia legal que deben aplicarse para que el desarrollo del país no se detenga. Debemos llegar un punto de inflexión para que no continuemos siendo afectados por la situación, ya que una postura completamente negativa y renuente a los cambios puede representar más daño al país del que ya existe. En esta ocasión, se vieron afectadas las sociedades offshore, más adelante señalarán las zonas francas del país, hasta que se vean afectados los servicios financieros que ofrezca el país.

En la actualidad, la infraestructura de transporte que ofrece el Canal de Panamá y el aeropuerto de Tocumen, junto al desarrollo del centro financiero panameño, constituyen una parte crucial de la estrategia económica del país. De manera que la divulgación de Panamá Papers representa un desafío importante para la actividad de los abogados del país, ya que la creación de sociedades anónimas forma parte importante de la estructura legal y financiera en Panamá.

Una serie de declaraciones de altos funcionarios del gobierno de Francia y de la OCDE, incluyendo al secretario general de ésta entidad, José Ángel Gurría, demuestran su descontento con las políticas financieras de nuestro país, lo que genera aún más suspicacia sobre el funcionamiento del centro financiero de Panamá.

Si bien es cierto, que no debemos dejar que organizaciones como la OCDE controlen la realidad en nuestro país, más cuando en busca de cumplir con estándares internacionales, Panamá se ha sometido a numerosos procesos de certificación internacional de sus estándares, modificando a las leyes financieras del país, la regulación y supervisión a las empresas offshore resulta ser una consecuencia natural de esta mega filtración, esto sin llegar a menoscabar la esencia de nuestros instrumentos legales. La regulación y transparencia sobre estas compañías puede ayudar a marcar esta diferencia, el hecho es que si se está dando y Panamá debe encontrar un balance en el que cumpla con el sistema internacional y al mismo tiempo procure el crecimiento económico de su territorio.

Consecuentemente, la integración de las economías y los mercados nacionales se ha intensificado de manera sustancial en los últimos años, exigiendo transparencia al sistema fiscal internacional. Existe un plan desarrollado por OCDE, el cual consiste en 15 acciones y planes para analizar el efecto de la Erosión de la Base Imponible y el Traslado de Beneficios (BEPS por sus siglas en inglés), con el propósito de desarrollar recomendaciones para los estados soberanos con el objetivo de controlar sus efectos como consecuencia de la globalización. Estas acciones abarcan desde nuevos estándares mínimos a la revisión de los que ya estaban en vigor, estrategias comunes que facilitarán la tendencia de algunas prácticas y, por último, directrices basadas en mejores prácticas de fiscalización. El proyecto BEPS evalúa los estándares fiscales internacionales dirigidos a eliminar la doble imposición, con el objeto de poner fin a los abusos y a las oportunidades BEPS.

Por otro lado, debemos resaltar la ilegalidad que constituye la filtración de los mal llamados Panamá Papers, ya que mucho se ha dicho sobre la información que surgió a raíz de este hecho, sin embargo es muy poco lo que se comenta sobre el método a través del cual se obtuvo la información. Es decepcionante que el Consorcio Internacional de Periodistas de Investigación (ICIJ) haya expuesto con tanto empeño un hecho como este, bajo la premisa de que estaban haciendo su trabajo, cuando es evidente que esta filtración representa una flagrante violación a la propiedad intelectual y en ese mismo sentido a la privacidad de muchos clientes que se han visto expuestos. La violación a los derechos de la propiedad intelectual constituye uno de los problemas más importantes a afrontar por las firmas nacionales e internacionales, y por los países que pretenden mejorar su desempeño en términos de crecimiento y desarrollo económico. Lo sucedido con los Panamá Papers es solo una muestra de lo que podría suceder si no hacemos un llamado de atención a este tipo de ilegalidades y no se castigan a quienes lo realicen.

Sobre el título de Panamá Papers, debemos reflexionar, ya que el hecho de que el nombre de Panamá se haya utilizado como titular de una declaración de esta magnitud resulta inescrupuloso e indebido. Si bien es cierto, este escándalo estalló en Panamá, no obstante es evidente que este no es el país más propenso ni el único que ofrece el servicio de sociedades "Off Shore". Los Panamá Papers no son papeles de Panamá, son papeles de una firma en el país que se dedica a una actividad completamente legal, la incongruencia con el titular radica en que solo el 20% de las más de 200,000 sociedades investigadas fueron inscritas en Panamá, sin embargo el resto de los territorios que se utilizaron para esta misma actividad, no se han visto ni se verán afectados por este titular de la manera en que se ha visto perjudicado Panamá.

Luego de la aparición del titular "Panamá Papers", el presidente panameño, Juan Carlos Varela, anunció la creación de un comité independiente, integrado por expertos nacionales y extranjeros, para mejorar los controles financieros del país. El comité tendrá la labor de evaluar las prácticas legales y financieras que se manejan en Panamá y de igual forma proponer la adopción de medidas que serán compartidas con otros países del mundo en materia legal y financiera, para perseguir los delitos como el lavado de dinero y el narcotráfico, la corrupción, entre otras.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

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