Virtual Forum "Panama: The Center of Americas
and its role in the strengthening of Regional Value Chains
February 03, 2022
The President of Panama, Laurentino Cortizo Cohen highlighted on Thursday morning the potential of the country as the main logistics center of Latin America at the opening of the high-level multisectoral forum, organized by the National Government, in partnership with the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).
The Panamanian president said that "Panama offers a unique value package as the main logistics center in Latin America, highlighting its exceptional connectivity thanks to our geographical position, the Panama Canal and logistics assets".
"Panama has the best air and maritime connectivity in Latin America and the Caribbean, with ports on the coasts of two oceans, a transcontinental railroad, airports, logistics parks, special economic zones and free trade zones," said the chief executive during the opening of the forum Panama: The Center of America and its role in strengthening regional value chains."
Cortizo Cohen said that the country "has played, and continues to play, a key role in world trade'', in that sense he added that "we have learned to recognize and appreciate the value of supply chains and the importance of making them more resilient for the benefit of the countries of our region".
Cortizo Cohen also stated that during his administration he supports "nearshoring" processes as an indispensable strategic component for the economic recovery agenda in the post-pandemic stage.
"We bet on the creation and promotion of special regimes through the emission of laws that grant corporate, tax, labor and migratory benefits. As a result, more than 177 multinationals have established headquarters in our country, which strengthens our competitiveness as a reliable destination for foreign investment," said Cortizo Cohen.
He pointed out that before the pandemic Panama was one of the fastest growing countries in the region, attracting about 43% of all foreign direct investment.
In this regard, he said that "even though the pandemic caused a strong economic and social impact worldwide, bringing new challenges, today we are optimistic and confident that we will resume the pace of growth in the coming years.
As a government we will continue to take firm steps to consolidate the stability of our country as a friendly place for business and good investments, he said.
"Panama maintains its firm and determined commitment to collaborate with the strengthening of supply chains and to work for regional development with stability, security, sustainability and respect to expand opportunities for mutual growth in the region,'' concluded Cortizo Cohen.
Ramón Martínez, Minister of Trade and Industry, emphasized that "Latin America has a great opportunity ahead and Panama, as part of the region, is taking concrete actions, promoting constant multilateral and multisectoral dialogue, to position itself as a destination for investments in securing supply chains, strategic industries and as an ally of the nations of the hemisphere that seek to advance collective prosperity and security",
IDB President Mauricio Claver-Carone reaffirmed his confidence in the country.
"We are experiencing the largest realignment of global supply chains in history. This has opened a unique opportunity to attract more and better investments, and Panama is in a privileged position to achieve this. We at the IDB are proud to work with the Government of Panama in organizing the investment forum in 2022, as we committed six months ago. We are making available all our financial and technical resources to attract investments to the country and, together, push for the kind of inclusive and sustainable growth that all Panamanians deserve," said President Claver-Carone.