Members of the Panama Pacifico Authority were in Atlanta last month, drumming up support for the massive master-planned development on the west-side of the Canal. Executives met with a wide range of companies, sharing the advantages of the Panama Pacifico Special Economic Area, which is serving as a key economic driver for Panama City.
“The business recruitment mission provided an opportunity for the delegation to ensure that international company leaders and global investors in the Atlanta market are aware of what the Panama Pacifico Special Economic Area has to offer,” said Leo Gonzalez, Administrator of Panama Pacifico Agency, in a press release issued after the trip.
Ultimately, there was very little in terms of news in the press release. But it did serve as an example of Panama Pacifico’s role in growing Panama City’s presence in markets around the world.
For people unfamiliar with the development, Panama Pacifico is the largest master-planned, mixed-use development in Central America. A mini-city covering 3,450 acres on the former site of the Howard Air Force Base, the project is a mix of industrial, commercial and residential space, creating a new, modern suburb of Panama City. More than 20,000 homes are planned in the development
Panama Pacifico is also a major driver of the local market, as this press release illustrates. Panama Pacifico is spending money to promote Panama City, exposing new audiences to the business benefits of the city, as well as the healthy, luxurious quality of life
The Panama Pacifico officials had a story to tell on the trip to Atlanta, which was arranged through the American Chamber of Commerce Panama. According to the press release, the Atlanta presentation included details of the Special Economic Area’s, “favorable regulations such as special tax, labor, and legal incentives to companies that open a facility on the site, as well as the onsite One-Stop-Shop, which reduces red-tape with 17 government agencies available and onsite customs operating 24 hours a day, seven days a week.”
The best part is that Panama Pacifico is really only starting to ramp up. Some of the biggest growth phases are still to come. Last year the project saw 516,323 square feet (47,968 square meters) in expansions and new development projects, according to a statement from management earlier this year. More than 200 companies now call Panama Pacifico home, including eight of the Fortune 500 and 16 of the Forbes Global 2,000. Those companies have hired more than 7,000 employees, with more to come.
Much like the Panama Canal and development on the Amador Causeway, Panama Pacifico is a core element in the economic growth story of Panama City, one of the projects that will raise all boats around it.
Duncan McGowan is president of Punta Pacifica Realty, a Panama real estate agency focused on Punta Pacifica, the exclusive neighborhood of 18 towers perched on the edge of the Pacific Ocean.