Government Contracts and Permits

One could easily say that there is no other firm in Panama that has advised clients in the area of government concessions and public contracts far longer than Arias, Fábrega & Fábrega.

From the first public utilities concessions granted by the Government of Panama at the early years of the Republic to the most recent public contract for the construction of the US$5.2 billion Panama Canal expansion project, Arias, Fábrega & Fábrega has assisted leading multinational and Panamanian companies in their businesses with the Government of Panama.

Their work includes transactions ranging from simple government supply contracts to complex concession agreements and public contracts in sectors such as petroleum storage, transportation and refining, port operations, telecommunications, power generation and distribution, toll-roads, mining, and other public works.

With deep broad-based experience in privatizations, government concessions, public contracts and administrative law, ARIFA lawyers in this practice area regularly advise clients in connection with:

  • Government tenders, including the review of tender rules and the preparation of bid documents
  • Negotiation, drafting and approval of concession agreements, including contract-laws approved by the National Assembly
  • Renegotiation of concession agreements
  • Litigation in connection with public concessions and contracts


In the area of government permits and administrative matters, the firm takes a one-stop shop approach to assist and guide clients in the establishment of their business operations in Panama, including:

  • Establishing the proper business vehicle, whether it is registering a branch of a foreign corporation or forming a Panamanian subsidiary
  • Securing all required national and municipal business licenses and operation permits
  • Securing health and environmental permits
  • Securing visas and work permits for foreign executives and employees and registering the business with the Social Security Administration
  • Advising on general tax matters and securing a tax-payer identification number
  • Advising foreign investors on general aspects of doing business in Panama and representing them before all governmental agencies in Panama


Its experienced team of lawyers in this practice area has also developed a unique understanding of the laws and regulations applicable to Special Economic Zones. Lawyers in this Practice Group are instrumental in assisting clients to establish and carry on their operations in special economic zones such as the Colon Free Trade Zone, the Howard Special Development Zone, the City of Knowledge, call center areas, petroleum free zones and export processing zones.

Representative Clients

Suez Energy, Enel, Pedregal Power Company, Bechtel Corporation, Mitsubishi, ChevronTexaco, ExxonMobil, RTZ, INMET, Holcim, Cargill, American Airlines, McDonald’s, TetraPack, Sitel and FirstData.