Panama is the fastest growing country in Latin American

Foreign Direct Investment Represents 9.7% of GDP in 1Q 2011

Wednesday, June 29 2011 @ 09:41 AM COT
Contributed by: Don Winner
Views: 51
Foreign direct investment (FDI) in Panama totaled $746 million dollars in the first quarter of 2011 representing 9.7% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of Panama’s economy, according to Kristelle Getzler, the Secretary of the Economy of the State. Getzler said in 2011 seven new multinationals have moved to Panama: Wrigley and Fastenal (USA) Atlas Copco (Sweden), Unilever (Netherlands), Merck and Bauer (Germany) and International Meal (Brazil) – and others are expected to arrive. The official said Panama is the fastest growing country in Latin American with regards to attracting new Foreign Direct Investment, which currently amounts to more than 9% of of the Gross Domestic Product of the country, compared to 8% in Chile (the second closest competitor.) Getzler said FDI as in the first three months of 2011 represents an increase of 21% compared to the same period in 2010. She said economic growth in Panama is also determined by the economic weight of the logistics sector (24%), including the Panama Canal tolls, the cargo movement system, and the operations of the ports. Getzler also highlighted the impact of the construction industry (7%) through engineering projects, roads and the project to expand the Panama Canal, which represents a large amount of wage labor. (La Prensa)
Editor’s Comment: New FDI at almost 10% of GDP in the first quarter? It’s hard to express in words the impact this kind of economic activity will have on Panama. This is “new money” pouring into the country from abroad, helping to spur the unbroken growth spurt this country has been enjoying since 2004. Things are looking good, and they are only going to get better. Wait until the new bilateral Free Trade Agreement with the United States gets ratified, the newly expanded Panama Canal opens in 2014, and serious construction starts on many of the infrastructure projects being developed by the government. The money keeps pouring in, and the government of Panama is responsibly shrinking debt payments (down to 12% of GDP just a few years ago, from 25%), and making smart and responsible fiscal decisions. You never hear the “opposition” bitching about economic matters, because it’s almost all good news.

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