Varela invites US companies to invest in Panama


President of the Republic, Juan Carlos Varela, Thursday invited major US companies to invest in the new business climate in Panama, where transparency and respect for law prevails.

During the meeting, in which representatives of Chevron, FedEx Express, Estee Lauder, Interenergy Holding, The Coca Cola Company, Walmart, Vice on HBO, Medtronic, among others, the Head of State stressed the attributes of Panama as a point of investment from the diversity of its economy, geographical position and political stability.

The president said his country has the mission of managing state resources transparently, along with providing support to the private sector by promoting foreign direct investment to improve the quality of life of citizens.

He said the biggest challenge facing the public sector, with private sector support, is to ensure that the resources generated are used to maximize the standard of living of the population.

Economic growth

Varela noted that, according to the outlook from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for 2017, Panama has one of the world’s fastest growing in the world with 6.6%, compared with emerging that have a growth outlook of 4.7% and the global average projected growth of 3.6%.

He said that over the past 10 years Gross (GDP) of Panama Domestic Product has grown at an average of 8.5% (reaching a peak of 12.1% in 2007 and 6% last year) and that even during the crisis 2008 Panama’s economy grew by over 8%.

He added that for this 2016 and next year is expected to continue to grow the economy by keeping inflation below 2% and an unemployment rate below 3.8%.

Varela said the efforts his government has implemented to enhance transparency in its financial system. Proof of this, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) removed Panama from its “gray list” of countries in record time, after highlighting the implementation of the measures contained in the action plan.

Also, Varela said, the consistent, prudent and efficient management of the resources of our country fiscal discipline have led to positive indicators for Panama’s ability to meet its international commitments.

Foreign investment

The Panamanian president stressed that Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in Panama continue to grow at sustainable pace and that the country receives more than 45% of all FDI in Central America. In addition, with the highest FDI inflows in proportion to GDP in Latin America, increasing 16.9% in FDI inflows since 2014.

He explained that more than 57% of FDI is reinvested, which reflects that companies have confidence in the country and have found a favorable environment for investment and diversification.

Varela also said air connectivity and telecommunications in the country and said that fiscal policy remains focused on prudent financial management, and optimization of public spending in order to achieve the goals of social investment.

“My administration is committed to take the necessary legal frameworks to improve the transparency of our financial system,” he said.

During this event, President Varela was accompanied by Deputy Minister of Public Security, Jonattan del Rosario; Panama’s ambassador in Washington, Emanuel Gonzalez Revilla and Panama’s consul in New York, Alejandro Posse.

Meanwhile, representatives of US companies recognized the achievements of Panama and its position as a strategic business partner and ally in the region.

According to the BCIU Panama occupies the 5-position of 120 countries with facilities for doing business and is the second most competitive country in Latin America.

Finally, the President thanked the representatives of private sector support and asked to share the success story of Panama to other US companies to go to the country and help strengthen economic growth and democracy in favor of the Panamanian people.


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