Panama city, Panama.- The Colon Duty-Free Zone (ZLC) today expands its commercial links with other markets in the region as a way to diversify customers, achieve economic stability and reactivate sales.

In a press release, that entity said that the Dominican Republic, Peru, Costa Rica and Cuba stand out as the nations that contribute most to this strategy, which also benefited from the business roundtables.

‘Bringing the Colon Duty-Free Zone to the world, and bringing the world to the Free Zone is the premise under which we have reached the buyers of various countries in the region to know, directly, the commercial and logistical advantages offered this special zone, located in the Panamanian Atlantic,’ said the general manager, Manuel Grimaldo.

He said that during 2018 several business conferences were held in countries such as the Dominican Republic, Peru, Colombia and Costa Rica, which allowed increasing interest in the buyers of those nations and strengthening existing commercial ties.

He acknowledged that the results of these meetings were immediately reflected in sales volumes, which in the case of the Dominican Republic and Peru, re-exports increased by 3.4 and 11 percent, respectively, from 2017 to 2018.

‘A business conference allows many entrepreneurs from many parts of the world to connect directly, and the objective is to identify them by identifying the needs of that destination,’ said Grimaldo, referring to those agreed for this year on Panamanian soil during the first semester.

In the case of Cuba, he referred to the positive impact of the new immigration regulations, such as the activation of the stamped visa, which expeditiously facilitates the visit of the island’s businessmen.

Such measures allowed the visit of about 16 thousand Cubans and millionaire purchases in the last year, which not only impacted on ZLC, but also in boosting the hotel and consumer activity in that province of the Panamanian Caribbean, he said.

Despite this, listed important challenges as the approach to the rest of the countries of Central America, natural partner of the country, ‘so we urgently need to resolve the differences that may affect the employer who buys products in the Free Zone and want to send them to your market of destination, ‘he stressed.

Grimaldo clarified that these activities are allowed by Law 8, which governs in that commercial enclave and seeks to encourage shopping tourism and attract new customers.

According to official figures of the largest free zone in the Western Hemisphere, Puerto Rico led in 2018 the ranking of countries with the most re-exports in terms of value, registering 1,617 million, followed by the United States, Panama, Colombia, Costa Rica and the Republic. Dominican