Panama is keen on elevating its trade and economic ties with Qatar via investment opportunities in various sectors, such as the semiconductor industry, the Central American nation’s top diplomat to Qatar, Musa Asvat, has said.

In a statement to Gulf Times on Monday, Asvat noted that the US Department of State has recently identified Panama as one of its seven partner countries in strengthening the semiconductor value chain.

According to Asvat, the collaboration was initiated under the International Technology Security and Innovation (ITSI) Fund and puts the focus on the country’s strategic advantages, such as the Panama Canal and a conducive business environment.

Citing these developments, Asvat said this assigns a pivotal role to Panama in the global semiconductor landscape, encouraging economic benefits, and technological advancements.

“Panama is a friend of Qatar and is ready to offer investment opportunities that will lead to consolidating the bilateral relationship,” the ambassador emphasised, adding that the country is also an appealing investment destination for a broad range of sectors, including technology, financial services, logistics, tourism, communications, and manufacturing.

Asvat noted that Panama has several free trade zones, including an attractive tax structure that is conducive to international investments. “What’s more, its pivotal geographical location makes it a global transport and trade hub,” he also pointed out.

Tech giants, such as Google, are eyeing Panama for new submarine cable projects, making it a major hub for marine cable convergence, noted Asvat, who also cited Telecom Sparkle Italia, which plans to connect the US to Chile via Panama, thus leveraging the country’s unique position to link multiple submarine cables. The country’s data centres, well-equipped to host new cables, offer reduced latency, enhancing efficiency, he said.

In the pipeline is the development of a technology free trade zone (FTZ), attracting major players like Google, Amazon, and Facebook to Panama, said Asvat, adding that this is coupled with the private sector’s wider digital transformation.

Underscoring this new industrial alliance in terms of significant prospects for mutual advantages, Asvat said the agreement opens new avenues for the US to diversify its sources in the semiconductor supply chain. “This helps in decreasing the US’s dependence on a single producer and reducing its vulnerability to potential disruptions,” he explained.

Asvat said Panama’s strategic geographical position as a centre of international trade emphasises the country’s potential as a bridge for US companies seeking to improve their semiconductor manufacturing and distribution networks within Latin America and the Caribbean.

This partnership, according to Asvat, will provide tax and labour opportunities, raising the country’s potential to attract a greater volume of foreign direct investment (FDI), increase GDP, and bring Panama into the global technological arena.

Asvat said: “This is just one example of the multiple opportunities that Panama can offer to strategic allies, such as Qatar. Our journey as an investment destination is marked by economic resilience, strategic initiatives, and a commitment to sustainable development.”

He added: “While the recent global developments pose challenges, Panama’s strengths in diverse sectors, diplomatic ties, and pro-business policies position it as a nation poised for continued growth and investment. As the country navigates both economic opportunities and political uncertainties, the global business community watches Panama’s trajectory with keen interest.”
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