New Bridge over the Panama Canal

Posted on Panama Canal Authority's website. Au...

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Panama will build a third bridge across the Panama Canal at a cost of about 300 million U.S. dollars, Vice President Juan Carlos Varela said Tuesday.

The Panama Canal, joining the Atlantic Ocean and the Pacific Ocean, currently has two bridges, the Bridge of the Americas and the Centennial Bridge. Both bridges are located near the Pacific entrance to the Panama Canal.

This is important because it will make way for greater vehicular traffic across the canal on the Atlantic side of the isthmus; allowing for more tourism and agriculture activities. The beaches along the Atlantic are actually part of the Caribbean and currently there’s very little tourism activity and there’s not one major resort. For someone interested in tourism, the opportunities are endless.  Agriculture is another industry that will benefit from this bridge; there are thousands of acres of untouched fertile land in this region and if the government goes through with its plan for a road from Colon to Bocas del Toro, the current prices will triple.

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Panama Thailand Connection

Howard Air Force Base, Canal Zone, 1970

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A Thai delegation will visit Panama next week to strengthen trade and investment opportunities.

Last year, business leaders in Thailand and Panama agreed to promote Thai fruits, food and other products from Thailand. A food distribution center is planned in Panama to increase access to markets in Latin America and the United States.

There will mostly likely be two areas of interest for the distribution center, one being the Colon Free Trade Zone and the other being Panama Pacifico.  The Colon Free Trade Zone (“CFZ”) is the largest free zone in the Americas and the second largest in the world. Created in 1948, the free zone houses 1,751 merchants, receives yearly more than 250,000 visitors from all parts of the World, mainly from countries such as Haiti, Jamaica, Costa Rica, Venezuela, Colombia, United States, Ecuador, and others. Panama Pacifico is relatively new, situated in what used to be Howard Air force base. It offers special offshore tax breaks and government, labor and legal incentives, addition to the convenience of an onsite government office to fast-track the process of establishing a business in the area.

Panama’s GDP rose by 6.9% last year while Thai exports were US$223.08 million and imports $10.6 million, resulting in a trade surplus of $212.47 million.

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$4 Million into The Tourism Pot

Cayo Zapatillas en Bocas del Toro

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The government of Panama has decided to add $4 million this year to the tourism master plan. This will include a cruise ship port off the island of Colon (Isle Colon) in the province of Bocas del Toro.

There will also be tourist centers and rest stops built in different areas around the country.

Panama has recently gotten into the tourism business, for years business travelers and locals had the hotels and restaurants to themselves. Now the place is booming and opportunites can be found throughout the country for those with the entrepreneurial spirit.

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Panama International Business Expo

From the 23rd to the 26th of March at the Atlapa Convention Center, the annual Expocomer 2011 trade fair will take place. There will be representitives companies from more than 35 countries.

The Exhibition will provide 634 stands for more than 500 companies to present their newest manufacturing, industrial and technological products.

The Chinese commercial delegation will once again be the largest and Taiwan will also have a gran presence.  Panama is Taiwan’s largest trade partner in Central America. The trade volume between Taiwan and Panama increased to US$316 million as of November 2010, comparing to that of 2009 which was only US$159 million. Since Panama plays an important role in cargo transportation and serves as a springboard for commodities to be circulated from Asia to North America and Central and South America, the bilateral trade between Taiwan and Panama is expected to grow further in the coming years.

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Copa direct to Brasilia

On June 18th Copa Airlines will begin nonstop service four times a week between Panama City, Panama, and Brasilia, the capital of Brazil. Brasilia will be Copa Airlines’ sixth Brazilian destination and its 56th destination overall. 

Copa offers more flights to international destinations than any other airline in Latin America.

This helps facilitate business throughout the region.

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Investors Choose Panama

I read an interesting article recently about investors choosing Panama

The article states valid information concerning statistics and dollar amounts but then goes on to mention recent publicity around the current President being a potential strongman.

I’m not from Panama but I’ve lived here for 15 years, I don’t vote and have to political agenda. I’ve been here long enough to see the good and the bad. I’ve experienced the growing pains of the recent “boom” and I understand the potential the country has. I’m saying this, hopefully to add some credibility to my opinion that Martinelli is no strongman and far from it. He’s quick to express his personal opinion, perhaps when he should think twice and say nothing. But he has shown that he’s open to discussions.

So if you’re thinking of investing in Panama, don’t think twice about the strongman hype. President Martinelli is moving the country in the right direction and now is the time to get in.

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