"... Some of the professions reserved for national citizens are chemical engineering and petrochemicals, careers which are not offered by any university in Panama. "
Acting as a backdrop to the contradiction between migrant's human right to work and the need to reserve jobs for nationals, is the upkeep of competitiveness and economic development of each country.
The change of government in Panama
brought a change of concept regarding the levels of openness displayed by the country to make it an attractive destination for labor migration. Facilities to regularize the situation of people who come to fill the positions generated by the booming economy in the canal country are about to vanish, according to a proposal by the new authorities. This is the case of the 'Melting Pot' (Crisol de Razas) fairs, where foreigners have been able to obtain, with relative ease, formal residence permits, events which it is now claimed will not be held again.
An article in Laestrella.com.pa reports how the discussion is evolving in Panama, a discussion that could be extrapolated to several countries in the region, and is mainly focussed around the conflicting views of the respective rights of nationals and foreigners.
What is not being fully discussed is the indispensable contribution that migrants make to the economies of the countries that receive them, especially when they resolve the problems of shortcomings in the training of national workers. The knowledge revolution is already well advanced, it is essential to open up economies to foreign workers in order to maintain the competitiveness required in terms of quantity and quality of the human resources needed.