Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Potentially - A Walmart Distribution Center in Panama

Photo by Juliette Passer, 2014
Panama reserves supermarket operations for local companies, so there could be confusion over the news report from, which states that "... Through a letter signed by Panamanian President Juan Carlos Varela, a group of businessmen, headed by the general manager of the Colon Free Zone (CFZ), Surse Pierpoint- are seeking to attract the attention of executives at Walmart US to install a distribution center for Latin America in Panama ", indicating the Colon Free Zone (CFZ) as 'the right place'."

The move by entrepreneurs from the CFZ could be understood as a way to bolster their arguments as part of the pressure being exerted on the government for the CFZ to be accorded the same tax privileges as other zones in the country. Beyond this, it is clear that a market opening for Walmart in the large scale
retail sector will be on the negotiating table, something which up to now has been rejected.

Severo Sousa, president of the Logistics Business Council, a member of the group of entrepreneurs that is driving the initiative, said "... "I always thought it was a good idea to attract Walmart, to sell them the benefits that Panama has to offer, so that they will set up here, and have it as a flagship company to attract other businesses of this type to the country."

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