Today’s Editorial March 07: Panama mission another success

Who would have thought three years ago that the Cayman Islands would have done US$20 million worth of trade and goods with Panama?

We have.

That is just one of the factoids that have been made clear on the third Chamber of Commerce Cayman-Panama trade mission.

A contingent of business executives and governmental officials are in Panama opening even more doors of opportunity between our two countries.

These trade missions are perfect examples of how the public and private sectors can work together for the advancement of our local economy.

Already Cayman National has established a representative office in Panama City and just last week Panama granted a Representative Licence to the bank so it can do business there.

That means businesses in the Cayman Islands will now have a way to source alternative suppliers to help with trade and investment between the two countries.

Panama is one of the fastest growing economies in Central America and its Free Trade Zone in Colon allows it to import billions of dollars of goods then export them throughout the Americas.

We know for a fact that the cost of living is escalating in the United States – where we get most of our goods – and we, as consumers, are paying more for everyday goods.

By finding sources of goods directly in Panama, local businesses can find lower priced goods and in turn offer those goods at lower prices to the consumer.

Too, we have learned over the years that we can’t rely on Florida or the US to get our goods during active hurricane seasons.

It would be nice to have an alternative in the way of Panama.

The opportunity to find an alternative suppler of goods other than the US is one of the main reasons the Chamber of Commerce organised a trade mission to Panama three years ago.

But the trade mission is about more than looking for other suppliers.

It is also a mission to showcase the Cayman Islands to Panama.

We have much to offer Panama in the way of tourism and financial services and delegates there are being urged this week to come for a visit and do business with us.

Once again we say kudos to the Cayman Islands Chamber of Commerce for shepherding this very valuable trade mission.

It is apparent a good foundation has been laid for a profitable future for both countries and those of us who consume goods in the Cayman Islands.

We know for a fact that the cost of living is escalating in the United States – where we get most of our goods – and we, as consumers, are paying more for everyday goods.

By finding sources of goods directly in Panama, local businesses can find lower priced goods and in turn offer those goods at lower prices to the consumer.