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05 de June de 2018The II Regional Investment Forum shows progress in the productive sectors of western Panama, Azuero and Colon
2img - The II Regional Investment Forum shows progress in the productive sectors of western Panama
2img - The II Regional Investment Forum shows progress in the productive sectors of western Panama
2img - The II Regional Investment Forum shows progress in the productive sectors of western Panama
2img - The II Regional Investment Forum shows progress in the productive sectors of western Panama

The meeting held on June 5 in Panama City, organized by CAF -development bank of Latin America, the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) and the National Network of Centers for Regional Competitiveness, gathers the major players in the development and implementation of strategies focused on generating wealth for the country, through partnership, productive transformation and attracting investments.

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The main goals of the II Regional Investment for Territorial Development Forum 2018 are to disseminate and promote investment opportunities in the Western Region, Azuero and Colon, disseminating the potential for regional agricultural, tourism and logistics development and encouraging investment agreements. The Forum acted as a meeting space for public and private institutions, national authorities, entrepreneurs, multilateral institutions and investors from Spain, Nicaragua, Mexico and Costa Rica.

The major achievements of the Centers for Regional Competitiveness were also shared during the Forum. These organizations’ goals include developing competitive advantages in key regional productive vocations for the agricultural-industrial, tourism and logistics sectors (maritime/port, airport and road activities); promoting public and private investment in sustainable and inclusive development for each region; identifying investment opportunities specific to the country; and actively participating in designs for public policies, plans, and regional long-term projects that transcend governmental changes.

“Here at CAF, we support local organizations in assessing investment, development and inclusion opportunities in the regions of Panama that accompany the growth and large projects in the capital. For this purpose, we promote the strengthening of local skills and their cohesion to achieve regional social capital through partnership, planning, technical training, leadership, governance and economic resources, enabling stable strategic alliances and long-term vision for productive and sustainable development of Panama and its provinces. CAF is joining forces with the state and local private sector to promote integrated territorial development to finance public investments in the Western Region, such as the Master Farmer Plan, the construction of several schools, water treatment plants such as those in Puerto Armuelles and Changuinola, and several local roads. With the help of International Technical Cooperation, we also support the private and public sector in diagnostics and roadmaps that enable investment visibility and attract such investments to the region. We strengthen smart organization initiatives such as cases for the Centers for Regional Competitiveness to provide sustainability to these efforts. The diagnostics and agricultural roadmap of the Azuero Region is being funded in support of CECOM-CA with an eye on the future, in the hopes that the Master Farmer Plan will extend to this region. The information to be shared in this Forum shows the organization’s long journey, efforts and achievements,” said Susana Pinilla, CAF Country Director in Panama.

Gerardo Escudero, IICA’s representative in Panama, also commented, “We have included the advances of several regions in the country that have decided to rethink the role of the farmer and other important activities in this second edition of the competitiveness and investment forum. International delegations that have expressed interest in taking part in these initiatives will participate, enjoying the opportunities for trade, services and investment in food production in Panama’s domestic markets and throughout the world. The third distinctive element of these events is that they are backed by careful processes to ensure conditions for development between the private sector and the public sector, as a single accompanying unit. This provides an innovative model to form alliances with technical and financial multilateral companies, such as IICA and CAF, as well as the public and private sectors.”

The Western Center for Regional Competitiveness ( CECOM-RO) was instituted in 2014 with the sustained help of CAF and is a pioneer in implementing projects. In terms of strengthening the agricultural sector, the center collaborated in the design, official approval and first steps for the implementation of the Master Farmer Plan in the Region Western, with an estimated private and public investment of USD 557 million over seven years. The center was also critical in the initial design process for the Azuero Region’s Master Farmer Plan, which now includes the participation of over 300 local producers. In the field of urban mobility, CECOM-RO took part in local coordination to design the comprehensive Sustainable Urban Mobility Plan in David (PIMUS), among other achievements.

“We hope the Department of Competitiveness and Logistics, as a technical body, concludes the Forum with important announcements that strengthen and encourage public–private partnerships as a key foundation to implement regional development strategies and special priority projects requiring continuity through government changes,” said Felipe Ariel Rodríguez, president of the Western Center for Regional Competitiveness, CECOM-RO.

The creation and deployment of the Center for Competitiveness in Azuero (CECOM-RA) and the Center for Competitiveness in Colon (CECOM-CO), both instituted in 2017, along with the formation of the National Network of Centers for Competitiveness, are also critical to the spirit of partnership that has already made important advances for the country’s productive sector.

New projects underway at the II Competitiveness and Regional Investments Forum include the organization and impending deployment of the Centers for Competitiveness in Veraguas and Coclé, instituted by the Centers for Regional Competitiveness Network, and their incorporation in the Competitiveness Council with voting rights, chaired by the Minister of the Presidency.

Other topics discussed during the event include the participation of the AGRITECH platform in Murcia, Spain, which explores potential opportunities for agricultural business between Spain and Panama; early results from the implementation of the Master Farmer Plan led by the Agricultural Development Ministry of Panama; advances in the Agricultural Food Hub in Panama, which was designed jointly with the Dutch Government; the incorporation of eco-ethnic tourism and agriculture projects in the Ngäbe-Buglé district under the philosophy of the Master Farmer Plan, among other topics.

This initiative features the participation of distinguished figures, such as H.E. Enrique Carles, Minister of Agricultural Development; H.E. Mario Etchelecu, Minister of Housing; Salvador Sánchez, Minister in charge of the Presidency; Néstor González, Deputy Minister of Foreign Trade; Miguel Ángel Estribrí, Secretary General of the Competitiveness Council and the Department of Competitiveness and Logistics; Gustavo Him, General Manager of the Panama Tourism Authority; José Gómez, Director of the National Customs Authority; H.E. Dirk Janssen, Ambassador of the Netherlands; H.E. Juany Guzmán, Ambassador of Costa Rica; and guests from international companies such as Luis Miguel Peregrín, representative for the public–private platform AgritechMurcia in Spain, and Sergio Roldán, Director of Sistemas Agro APP SA de CV in Mexico. Other members represented the Center for Regional Competitiveness in Azuero, CECOM-RA; the Center for Competitiveness in Colon, CECOM-CO; the Colon Free Trade Zone; the Colon Free Zone Users’ Association; the Colon Chamber of Commerce; and the Chambers of Tourism in Colon, Chiriquí and Bocas del Toro, as well as representatives from the Ngäbe-Buglé district, in addition to the presence of investors in local and multinational companies.

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