Trade mission to fortify commercial links between Aruba and Panama

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Panamanian Ministry of Commerce and Industry, through its vice-ministry of Foreign Commerce, invited local media to the Trade Mission Panama to Aruba event, which had the goal of fortifying commercial links between Panama and Aruba.

Members of the commercial mission, together with national director for promotion of export of the Republic of Panama, Eric Dormoi; representative of the Chamber of Commerce of Aruba, Sue-Ellen de Freitas; and minister of Economic Affairs, Communication and Sustainable Development of Aruba, Geoffrey Wever, on Wednesday morning inaugurated the first edition of the Trade Mission Panama to Aruba at the Renaissance Convention Center.

As part of an action plan of the government of the Republic of Panama, they implemented integral programs to identify and take advantage of opportunities in the region, Panama as a logistic hub has the capacity to offer goods and products of high standards to their Caribbean and Central American neighbors as an option to approach potential clients.

For this reason they came to Aruba, where the commercial sector is a part of their vision for economic development that the region requires, with the hope of fortifying commercial ties.

Dormoi explained that the connectivity between Aruba and Panama is currently very important, at a time when the war in Ukraine presents great challenges as well as the recent Covid-19 pandemic. “These are times when we have to fortify our ties, friendly relations, of commercial connectivity”, he said.

He added that Panama is ready to offer Aruba different products of export companies. “This is interesting because people can ask if Panama has ice machines, for example, and the answer is yes. This is why we want Aruba to see us as an option for providers”, Dormoi commented.

Minister Geoffrey Wever gave a short speech during the inauguration, pointing out that it was a special, important and unique event offering the opportunity to fortify business ties. Wever said he trusts that this will push for economic relations between both countries.

In the current times with different political, economic and commercial panorama in the Latin American and Caribbean region, where commerce, inflation and economic cooperation remain central elements of strategic partnerships, Wever expressed that he wants to find some ways to promote and deepen ties for mutual benefit.

Aruba’s economy is recovering after losing approximately 22.5 percent of economic activity due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. According to forecasts of the Department of Economic Affairs of Aruba, the local economy will grow with 10 percent through 2022 and for 2023 the projection of economic growth is 4.5 percent nominal. The recovery of the tourism sector and private investments push economic growth which also represents interest areas for companies.

Projections from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) also give indication of the economic recovery of Aruba, where the pandemic showed the value and importance of exploring other streams for economic progress, and to not depend only on tourism, Wever indicated. “We must create opportunities for companies to grow, not only in the local market but also in the international market. In this regard, recently we modernized the merchant permit policy, and now it is easier and is completely digitalized. Currently we are updating the free zone lays to facilitate that type of business”, Wever said.

The geographic positions of both Panama and Aruba are yet another reason to further fortify the commercial and economic ties, according to Wever.