Panama City, July 9 (EFE). – The President of Panama, Laurentino Cortizo, will start next Monday a business tour in Texas in the United States, in search of investors to help revitalize the economy of the Central American country, which collapsed by 17.9%. in 2020 due to the pandemic.
Panama’s presidency said Friday that Cortezo “will communicate with investors and businessmen in order to revitalize the economy and create new jobs,” without giving further details.
The official statement said, “The economy of Texas is among the fastest growing and the second largest in the United States. Had it been an independent country, Texas would have been the 15th largest economy in the world.”
Cortizo’s delegation consists of the Minister of Canal Affairs, Aristides Royo. Minister Counselor for Private Investment Facilitation, José Alejandro Rojas; Deputy Minister of Foreign Trade, Juan Carlos Sosa, and Deputy Director of the Panama Maritime Authority and Technical Secretary of the Logistics Cabinet, Ana Margarita Reyes.
The Panamanian authorities have indicated that attracting foreign investment is one of the pillars to revitalize the Panamanian economy, based on the service sector.
The government created the National Authority to Attract Investments and Promote Exports in Panama (ProPanamá), and laws were approved that grant tax benefits to foreign companies settling in the country.
Foreign direct investment (FDI) in Panama fell 86.4% in 2020, when it ended the year with a net balance of $588.7 million, according to the National Institute of Statistics and Census (Inec).
Credit rating agency Moody’s said in a report that medium-term economic growth in Panama will depend on continued investment, either directly through capital spending or through public-private partnerships.
“Challenges include the government’s ability to attract foreign direct investment and mobilize resources to continue building public infrastructure (for example, transportation) in the context of a very limited financial space after the pandemic,” the rating agency added.
International organizations and rating agencies predict that Panama’s GDP will expand in 2021 between 8% and 12%. EFE
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