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.