The Round Table for Economic and Labor Development was implemented by the Ministry of Labor Development with the aim of having a national dialogue to agree on policies and solutions to prepare for COVID-19's economic and labor aftermath.
Problems and Purpose
By April 2020, the International Monetary Fund reported that the COVID-19 pandemic had significantly weakened Panama’s macroeconomic outlook  for the year and caused a gap in the balance of payments of about US$3.7 billion. In this context, the Ministry of Labor Development of Panama (Span. Ministerio de Trabajo y Desarrollo Laboral) convened a Round Table for Economic and Labor Development (Span. Mesa Tripartita por la Economía y el Desarrollo Laboral) to be segmented into three different commissions. Its purpose was to have a national dialogue and agreement on the policies to be implemented as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic and to prepare for its aftermath in the economic and labor realms.
Background History and Context
Organizing, Supporting, and Funding Entities
This initiative was organized by the Ministry of Labor Development of Panama.
Participant Recruitment and Selection
Methods and Tools Used
What Went On: Process, Interaction, and Participation
Representatives of several workers' organizations, labor unions, the business sector, and the central government participated in the roundtables which took place over the course of 60 days, 90 meetings, and 900 working hours. By June 2020, the three Commissions validated 23 agreements in consensus and submitted an official report to the Minister of Labor Development, Doris Zapata.  Some of these agreements include, among others, the temporary adaptation of the working day, the creation of specialized health and safety committees to draft measures to prevent the contagion and safeguard the health of workers, employers, and their families.
Influence, Outcomes, and Effects
Analysis and Lessons Learned
 International Monetary Fund. (2020, April 16). IMF Executive Board Approves a US$515 Million Disbursement to Panama to address the COVID-19 Pandemic. https://www.imf.org/en/News/Articles/2020/04/16/pr20166-panama-imf-executive-board-approves-disbursement-to-address-the-covid-19
 Sanchez, Jorge Tristán. (2020). Informe de la Mesa Moderacion. https://industriales.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/Informe-de-la-Mesa-de-Moderación-oficial-definitivo.pdf