The activity in the Colon Free Zone (CFZ), considered the largest in the continent and located in the Panamanian Caribbean, registered an increase of 10.3 percent over the previous period, reaching the 16,087.6 million dollars between January and September 2018, the commercial emporium reported.
The CFZ houses around 2,260 companies, generates 25,000 direct jobs and closed 2017 with a commercial movement of 19,713 million dollars, 0.3 percent more than in 2016, according to government data and its Users Association.
Imports stood at 7,622.8 million dollars in the first nine months of the year and re-exports reached 8,464.8 million, according to the general manager of the free trade zone, Manuel Grimaldo.
The executive took advantage of the presentation of the new logo of the commercial emporium to indicate that this increase: "It is the product of the confidence that the administration of the free zone awakens in the users (companies)".
Grinaldo added that the new image seeks to "change the face of the free zone" and "convert it into a multimodal logistics center." This corresponds to one of the innovations that the administration is implementing to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the CFZ.
Likewise, the management of the ZLC, said it expects the arrival of "thousands and thousands" of Cubans after the recent relaxation of Panama's migration policy with the island. "The tourist card that the Government has just launched will serve so that the Cuban brothers can come to the Colon Free Zone to buy," said the general manager of the free trade zone, Manuel Grimaldo.
The National Migration Service of Panama announced last Monday the creation of a tourism card for Cuban citizens, which seeks to promote Panama as a shopping destination.
The document has a cost of 20 dollars, it will be valid for 30 days and can be purchased at the consulate of Havana by all Cuban citizens who have a "small businessperson" card, a certificate of "creators" ( artisans) or who have previously traveled to Panama or a third country.
The commercial emporium went through a severe crisis in 2015, when its revenues fell almost 8 percent, mainly due to the economic situation in Venezuela, to the tariffs that Colombia applies to the re-exports of some products and to the revaluation of the dollar.
The free trade zone is located a few kilometers from the Atlantic entrance of the Panama Canal and it employs more than 25,000 people and operates nearly 3,000 companies engaged in re-export.