Panama Lead Growth in Latin America and the Caribbean in 2008

Panama Lead Growth in Latin America and the Caribbean in 2008

Is Panama on its way to become the new Hong Kong of Latin
America? a wild thought, and quite unthinkable ten years ago… but not all that crazy
these days. Think about it: all the companies that are moving their headquarters here
(Caterpillar, Procter & Gamble, Dell between others), the international banking
center along with the Free Trade Zone are paving the way. The Canal Expansion alone
is generating masive amount of business, but ironically it is only one of many other
indicators that are either at the same volume or more. A well balanced economy, in
the middle of the America´s Continent. It´s rapidly becoming the best hub to access
the region.

At the beginnings of 2007 every international and national analyst thought Panama
was going to grow between 7% to 8%. They were already impressed by the steady growth
in past years: 2006 surpassed most economic indicators from the last 14 years. But
2007 proved to be so much better than expected. Here is an article from La Prensa,
with a quick analysis on the regional growth, from Argentina to Bahamas.

http://mensual.prensa.com/mensual/contenido/2007/12/13/uhora/negoc_2007121311303416.shtml

11:30 a.m. – CHILE (EFE).
-La economía de América Latina y el Caribe creció un 5.6% en 2007, con lo que completó
cinco años consecutivos de expansión, según un Balance Preliminar presentado hoy en
Santiago por la CEPAL.

Panamá, con un 9.5%; Argentina, con un 8.6%; Venezuela, con un 8.5%, y Perú, con un
8.2%, lideraron el crecimiento a nivel de países, mientras en el extremo inferior
de la escala se situaron Nicaragua (3%), Ecuador (2.7%), Jamaica (1.5%) y Dominica
(1.0%).

También con altos niveles de expansión figuran República Dominicana (7.5%), Uruguay
(7.5%), Colombia (7.0%), Costa Rica (7.0%) y Cuba (7.0%), mientras Honduras creció
un 6% y Paraguay y Guatemala lo hicieron un 5.5%, según el texto.

Brasil, Chile y Surinam crecieron un 5.3%, en tanto El Salvador lo hizo un 4.5%, lo
mismo que Guayana, en tanto Bolivia lo hizo un 3.8%.

México, Haití y Bahamas expandieron su economía un 3.3%, señala el informe de la Comisión
Económica para América Latina y el Caribe (CEPAL).

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