An agreement to modernize the institutional framework and the promotion of markets in a transparent way in the Colon Free Zone, the largest free zone in the hemisphere, was reached with authorities of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP).
UNDP's resident representative in Panama Harold Robinson Davis said he will contribute to the free zone to improve institutional capacity, promote the development of an entrepreneurial culture, generate ideas and create new businesses that allow the adequate use of resources available for the sustainable development of the country.
Meanwhile, general manager of the free zone Manuel Grimaldo said that they seek to achieve a more efficient management and position within the multimodal logistic center of Panama. "I am confident that this plan will help us strengthen the socio-economic development of the province with programs that generate a social impact and improve the quality of life indicators of the province of Colón," said Grimaldo.
Previously, the administrator of the FZC had announced that it would seek new international cooperation agreements with the UNDP, the Inter-American Development Bank and the Latin American Development Bank to modernize the institution.
The CFZ, which operates 2,624 companies and employs more than 23,000 people, has been in freefall for several years, mainly due to the crisis with the markets of Venezuela for a million dollar debt and with Colombia for tariffs imposed on textiles and footwear.
In spite of this, the first half of 2017 registered a commercial movement of 9.968 million dollars, which represented an increase of more than 5% compared to the same period of the previous year.