Colon Free Zone Grows by 42%

Commercial activity in Panama's free zones was 42% higher in the first 7 months of this year than in the same period in 2010.

Friday, October 7, 2011

According to the Controller General's Office transactions totaled $15,870,000 in July 2011, compared to $11,173,000 in the same period in 2010.

"The positive statistics are supported largely by the free zone re-exports which increased by 37.5%", reported

Given the pace of growth, businesses forecast closing this year at $23 million.

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Activity in Colon Free Zone Down 24%

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The free zone must reduce its high trade dependence on Colombia and Venezuela and seek for new markets for re-exports to improve its performance.

Lack of trade diversification has meant that activity in the Colon Free Zone (CFZ) in the first quarter of 2014 has shrunk by 24% compared to the same period last year.

ZLC Activity Shrank by 9.4% in 2013

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In 2013 the Colon Free Zone traded $2.7 billion less than in the previous year.

During the past year the commercial movement in the Colon Free Zone (CFZ) closed at $27.9 billion, whereas in 2012 it recorded $30.8 billion, equivalent to a reduction of 9.4%.

According to the Superintendency of Banks of Panama (SBP), the decrease is due to the situation occurring with the two main trading partners of the businesses in the CFZ, Colombia and Venezuela.

CFZ Grows by 12.9%

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Imports and exports from January to June 2012 generated in the CFZ reached $14.800 million, compared to $13.102 million in the same period of 2011.

An article in reports that "The growth comes despite the early months of the year being not the most active of the free zone, as indicated by traders."

More Infrastructure for Panamanian Free Trade Area

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A $75 million project known as Leona includes a trade center, storage facility and 9 buildings each with 15 or 16 commercial premises.

The project's manager for developer Investor Continental Group, Daniel Cachafeiro, added that the increase in demand for new commercial premises is the reason for the expansion of the Colón "free zone" (Zona Franca or ZFA in Spanish) - an area receiving free or preferential tax rates.