Panama is squarely on the radar for billions in future investment from Britain, according to Ernesto Lara, president of the British Chamber of Commerce in Panama.
Britain is poised to infuse $4 billion into a wide variety of projects, including infrastructure, commercial, residential, tourism and logistics, Lara told La Estrella. Many of those projects may be developed as public-private partnerships (P3s), which was the framework that led to the development of the massive Panama Pacifico development on the west side of the Panama Canal.
“You need companies that can come with your own financing,” and many have identified Panama as a prime market, Lara said. He is lobbying for new laws to encourage foreign investment, which could pave the way for the new investment.
British companies are already major investors in Panama, including a large presence in logistics, mining, finance, and pharmaceuticals. Cable & Wireless, Panama Ports and GlaxoSmithKline are among the entities with a huge influence on the Panama economy.,
Now that the U.K. has left the European Union, Britain must establish new trade agreements, which is an opportunity for Panama. Britain is “very interested in establishing its own commercial relations with Panama and the other countries of Central America and the Caribbean,” Lara told the newspaper.
Potential investments “would not only be with the public sector, but also with the private sector,” Lara said.
Mr. Lara’s comments illustrate that global investment in Panama is still growing and it is seen as a prime target, especially with risk high in so many other markets. His group represents 65 individuals and corporations directly involved in Panama business, which suggests he has his finger on the pulse of their interests.
“Panama has a lot of potential,” Lara told the paper. The economy continues to grow and foreign investment is flowing into the country. With “small changes” by the government, the foreign investments are ready to increase in the years ahead, he noted.