Panama, November 13, 2014.

The Panama Maritime Authority (PMA) participated in the XVIII Conference of Free Trade Zones of The Americas 2014. The event was inaugurated during the celebration of the General Assembly of the Association of Free Trade Zones of the Americas (AZFA of its Spanish acronym). This organization brings together representatives from 13 different countries.

This conference, in which the trade and economic relations between the different Free Trade Zones of the Americas is encouraged, aims to boost the integration among Latin American Free Trade Zones, improve their operating capacity and promote them as competitive tools and engines of sustainable economic development.

During the cycle of lectures, Mrs. Gicela Kinkead, Legal Advisor for Logistics Affairs of the PMA, highlighted the role of Panama as a logistics platform. As part of her lecture, Mrs. Kinkead spoke about the role of the Government as a promoter of logistics. She also addressed the issue of the need for a regulatory framework that facilitates the free trade zones.

Kinkead stressed how important it is, for our country, to remain leader within the sector of the ancillary maritime industries. So far, this sector has benefited from the work that has been carried out. This is why our logistics platform should be developed through a coordinated effort between the academic world and the public and private sectors. She added that “there are cross liabilities between all the sectors and, together, these sectors must work on solving issues such as accessibility to the information, unification of regulations into a single document, traceability and standardization of flow charts.”

Finally, Mrs. Gicela Kinkead remarked that “one the main purposes of PMA, is that of promoting activities that support the development of our country, taking advantage of the privileges that our geographical position offers us, which allows us to be more competitive.”
At this conference, which ran parallel to the Fourth Expo-Forum “Panama Free Trade Zones”, were discussed topics such as: the free trade zones as a key instrument to create logistics nodes in the epicenters of world trade, innovation and new business, the free trade zones and industry, and the amending of legislations on free trade zones, in some countries of Latin America and the Caribbean.