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Panama: Most Competitive Country in Central America

Article Summary:

Panama ranks as the most competitive country in Central America, according to the World Economic Forum. Its strength lies in its ability to innovate, holds important advantages in financial market efficiency, its high availability of financing for investment projects, infrastructure, port quality and air. The report also recommends Panama strengthen the functioning of institutions, improve the education system and promote efficient use of ICT and innovation.

Photo Credit: RevistaSumma

Original Article Text From RevistaSumma:

The World Economic Forum to review the Economic Positioning of Panama 2011
Thursday, December 1, 2011 9:30

World Economic Forum representatives met with business, academic and government of Panama in order to review the positioning and challenges facing the Central American country in economic development and competitiveness.

The international delegation, headed by its director for Latin America, Marisol Argueta de Barillas, presented a detailed study to Panama on the results of the 2011-2012 Global Competitiveness Report and its recommendations to continue rising in the region, detailed the National Communication Secretariat State in a statement.

Among the results obtained by Panama in this period, the World Economic Forum (WEF, for its acronym in English) highlighted the improvement that has taken the level of competition, placing in the top 50 worldwide, and its economy has become the most competitive in Central America.

At last report, Panama held the position 49 among 142 economies.

It also details the source, Panama has maintained a positive trend in the Global Competitiveness Index, with a better picture than countries like Colombia, Ecuador and Venezuela.

Other positive aspects of the report are that Panama has important advantages in financial market efficiency, ranking at No. 27, as well as high availability of financing for investment projects (38), infrastructure (38), especially in the port quality (5) and air (15).

According to WEF, Panama has made in recent years significant progress in terms of improving infrastructure, ensuring macroeconomic stability and reliability of the financial sector.

The report presented by the Forum states that to increase the strength of the economy to economic cycles and external dependence, the best guarantee is to increase Panama’s competitiveness.

It also notes that although the country has advanced in recent years are areas where Panama should focus their efforts: strengthening the functioning of institutions, improve the education system and promote efficient use of ICT and innovation.

Finally, the report notes that Panama is quickly moved to a higher stage of development where its competitiveness is given by its ability to innovate, noting that reforms and investments needed to move towards a more competitive economy are the subject and outcome of a strategic alliance between government, business and civil society.

Argueta de Barillas was accompanied by Beñat Bilbao, associate director of the Center for Global Competitiveness and Performance World and international experts from industries and urban development infrastructure, Pedro Rodrigues de Almeida and Gregory Vaughan-Morris, respectively.

The group was headed by Panamanian Minister of the Presidency, Demetrio Papadimitriu, who was accompanied by former President Nicolás Ardito Barletta, director of the National Competitiveness and Kristelle Getzler, of the Economic Secretariat of the Presidency.

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