Panama Boasts 147 Multinational Companies

The registration of Sedes of Multinational Companies (SEM) of Panama that has helped in adding 147 multinational companies to the Panama economy, faces the challenge of returning to the path of attracting new business organizations to the Panamanian territory in the coming years.

Four multinational companies have already arrived in Panama so far this year and these are: Steward Health Care System Llc., A hospital operator in the United States (USA); Uber International B.V., from the Netherlands; General Electric Company of the USA, and Hilti of Liechtenstein that develops manufacturing, commercializes products and services for the construction sector.

In 2018 six multinational companies were registered, three from China: China Tiesiju Civil Engineering Group Co., Ltd. (construction), China Railway International Group Co., Ltd (construction) and Baoshan Iron & Steel Co., Ltd (iron product and steel). While from Japan came the automaker Isuzu Motors Limite, JCB (heavy equipment) of England and Puma Energy Group (oil) of Singapore.

The Minister of Commerce and Industry, Néstor González, highlighted, in mid-March, the confidence of foreign investors and the SEM in the economic, legal and democratic stability of Panama have been the biggest factors in the decision of these multinational companies to come to do business in Panama.

In 2018, Panama had received over 5.5 billion dollars annual revenue from Direct Foreign Investment which is the highest since 2011 and represents a growth of 21.4% over the 4.5 billion dollar figure from 2017.

Through the Agency for Attraction of Investment and Promotion of Exports (Proinvex) of the Ministry of Commerce and Industries (Mici), the country promotes the so-called “Great Connection” locally and internationally to attract more SEM and IED.

Last year Proinvex held the conference “Panama Invest” in New York (USA), Lisbon (Portugal), Santiago (Chile), Hamburg (Germany), Lima (Peru), Sao Paulo (Brazil), Madrid (Spain) ), Dubai (United Arab Emirates), Holland (The Netherlands), London (United Kingdom) and Tel Aviv (Israel).

The Annual Report 2018 of Mici states that the investment of the 147 SEM in the country exceeds $ 1 billion and generates more than 6,000 jobs. “These figures confirm the confidence of foreign investors in Panama and have served as a multiplier to attract other companies to our country,” the report highlights.

The Mici stressed that “SEM companies represent an important source of knowledge transfer, mainly in terms of technology and innovation, which adds a competitive advantage for the country, as well as qualified trained professionals.”

In addition, “mutinational company activity permeates in different areas of the economy and in turn generates jobs for Panamanians indirectly, due to the contracting of different types of services at the banking, logistics, transport and real estate levels. As well as services of Panamanian professionals in areas such as law firms, architects, accounting, among others, ” says Mici’s 2018 Report.

Since the execution of Law 41 of August 24, 2007, the SEM program has proven to be highly successful in achieving the new business or relocation into Panama of 147 regional headquarters of multinational companies, according to Mici.