By Jaime Carrizo, President of the Association of Companies of the Panama Pacific Area (ADEDAPP)
Year 2020 has meant a turn of the wheel for the logistics industry and the world. The strict health controls derived from the COVID-19 pandemic and the limitations in the transport of goods, demanded changes in the ways of working and more efficient processes.
In Panama, logistics activity is one of the main engines of the economy, which according to the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, provides the 30% of the Gross Domestic Product (Schedule) from the country, therefore its sustainability is crucial to guarantee the recovery and reactivation of all activities.
The geographical location of the country makes it attractive for companies that want to establish a logistics headquarters that facilitates the transfer to different countries and allows them optimal conditions to develop, generate jobs and evolve.
During the pandemic, the Panama Pacific Area, one of the largest industrial complexes in the national territory put its capabilities to the test, companies that understand it strengthened their sanitary measures, ensured optimal conditions for employees and complied with the protocols required by the authorities to maintain the movement of the economic gear.
Since its creation, Panama Pacifico has generated investment in the country, Only in infrastructure has allocated more than a billion dollars, a great injection to the Panamanian economy. The generation of jobs has also been important, of the more than 10,000 collaborators who are part of the commercial community of the area, a 90% are Panamanians and receive competitive salaries. Panama Pacifico today maintains the highest minimum wage in the country.
Definitely, Panama is going through a key moment to become more competitive and offer the best conditions for those who want to invest in the country. Regulations have been promoted that motivate the arrival of foreign capital, as the Headquarters of Multinational Companies (SEM), which in recent years attracted dozens of financial companies, technology and services, among others.
Legal certainty is key for a country to become attractive in the world, the guarantee of maintaining the laws regardless of changes in government is a sign of certainty that many companies are willing to bet on.
We are proud as Panamanians for the contribution and sacrifice made to maintain operations at projected levels., but at the same time we are clear that we still have a long way to go to match the activity levels of other nations in Latin America.
Thus, we urge you to continue working together, State and private companies to further promote the modernization of the country's logistics institutions, which involves the digitization of all processes, something that the pandemic is accelerating and that is part of one of the pillars of the National Logistics Strategy.