This chapter includes the following articles.
Double-digit GDP growth for four of the past seven years, moderate inflation and high employment have had a positive impact on Panama’s retail sector. According to the National Institute of Statistics and Census, retail revenues increased 19.1% between 2011 and 2012, outpacing those of other service segments, and attracting growing interest from potential foreign entrants, particularly from the US. The sector has been an essential economic contributor, accounting for 14% of GDP in 2012. However, developing new facilities will be crucial for the country to compete with regional shopping destinations. While a gradual reduction in infrastructure investment and salary growth is likely to ease the retail boom of the past three years, sound economic growth is likely to sustain the continued expansion of both purchasing power and retail revenues. This chapter includes an interview with Leopoldo Benedetti, General Manager, Colón Free Trade Zone.