The Chinese multinational Hikvision, considered the world's largest manufacturer of video surveillance equipment, will move its distribution center for Latin America from Miami (United States) to Panama, official sources reported Thursday.
The company, which had revenues of 6.7 billion dollars in 2017, will operate from the Colon Free Zone (ZLC), the largest free zone in the hemisphere, located in the Panamanian Caribbean, said the Ministry of Commerce and Industry (Mici).
"This good news confirms the position of Panama as an American logistics hub and is an indication that we are attracting the most important multinationals and planning along with them the management of their supply chains from our country", said the minister of the branch, Néstor González.
Hikvision, whose head office is located in the Chinese city of Hangzhou, employs more than 25,000 employees in thirty countries around the world and 30 percent of its products are distributed in the Latin American market.
The multinational will be installed in a warehouse of 8,000 square meters, where it will store products worth 100 million dollars, according to the ministry.
The Colon Free Zone (ZLC), which is located a few meters from the Atlantic entrance of the Panama Canal, is considered the second largest free zone in the world, after Hong Kong, and in it operates 3,000 companies dedicated to re-export.
China, with whom Panama established diplomatic relations in June 2017 and negotiates a free trade agreement (FTA), is the largest supplier in the Panamanian free zone, where the Chinese giant Huawei also has its sixth global distribution center.
The commercial emporium went through a severe crisis in 2015, when its revenues fell almost 8 percent, but it managed to recover and closed 2017 with a movement of 19,713 million dollars, 0.3 percent more than the previous year.
Since the establishment of diplomatic relations, China has increased its presence in Panama and its companies have been awarded multi-million dollar contracts to build a kilometric bridge over the Panama Canal, a convention center and a cruise terminal.