July Lunch: Economic Impact of an Expanded Panama Canal
On 28 July the British Chamber of Commerce hosted an Executive Lunch around the expansion of the Panama Canal. Historically, Panama’s economy has relied quite heavily on the Canal. This engineering marvel has brought about the consequence of Panama being Latin America’s most important logistical and maritime hub, with several major ports of the region being located here.
It is hoped that with this expansion and the increase in maritime activity for the country, there will be a significant benefit for the logistics and maritime sector. Many in the industry would like to see the Panamanian Government develop some kind of framework for this sector, including fiscal benefits and a public-private commission that can administer the framework.
Our keynote speakers were Eddie Tapiero, Competitive Intelligence Specialist at the Panama Canal Authority. He gave statistics about the size of the maritime cluster within the logistics industry of the country. More importantly, he spoke of the future business opportunities that will open up on the banks of the Canal, such as a logistics park and LNG Terminal.
We also heard from Leroy Sheffer, the Chairman of the Logistics Business Council. He spoke about how the Panamanian Government is drafting a Logistics Plan that takes into account several areas including developing value-added logistics, development of the agro-fisheries logistics and a trucking centre in the west of the country. He also mentioned that the Maritime Authority is developing several port and dock projects around the country.