There is an old Panamanian proverb that says “when the eyes see nothing, the heart feels nothing.” At the moment, when it comes to India-Panama relations, the eyes are seeing a lot, and by extension, the hearts are meeting as well. In India, Panama finds a partner for the long haul, an Asian nation that has the wherewithal to take on other global giants and expand its economy like never before, perhaps even regain, at some point in the 21st century, the monetary pre-eminence and glory of its pre-British days.
In Panama, India sees an opportunity to expand its footprint in the region by using the Colon Free Zone—a link that allows re-exports to the Caribbean, Central and South America. That is why at the Expocomer exhibition that attracts a very large number of investors and businesses, India’s participation increased from 66 companies in 2014 to over 100 in 2016.
Economically, this Central American nation is poised to take off on several fronts. There’s a real estate boom in Panama as the country’s growing population and strong workforce demands new housing and commercial properties. Panama is one of the hottest adventure tourism destinations in the region. The demand for English language education centres is on an increase given the number of international businesses that are scouring the Panamanian economic terrain. There is also a long term demand for clean, sustainable energy solutions. Since earlier this year there is an expanded Panama Canal with a free zone that could make greater business sense for cargo going to the Americas from south Asia. All this makes for an interesting mix of opportunities and Panama’s Ambassador to India, H.E. Dr Gilberto Llerena Garcia, talks us through them.
Elsewhere in the magazine we have a strong coverage of countries across continents with key interviews that should be of interest.
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