A bit under the estimated 3% but definately better than other countries in Latin America (Mexico is at -8.2% according to La Prensa, Costa Rica at -4.8%), Panama seems to be holding its ground during this difficult period. Hope is on the way: Raúl Moreira from the Colegio de Economistas de Panama told La Prensa that there can still be an important recovery through the Colon Free Trade Zone on the second half of the year.
The country continues to receive foreign investors. According to a note at Martes Financiero, the Colombian company Ferrasa S.A. is expanding operations. They acquired the steel plant Aceros Transformados Panama and converted it into a distribution center, an investment of 10 million dollars. According to Juan Fernando Botero, the company´s marketing director, Panama would serve as a hub, an entrance door into Central America. They would also participate in the Panama Canal expansion.