Leaders from more than 30 Panamanian business, government, tourism, technology and science institutions spent this week establishing new connections to foster business development in Atlanta, Delta’s headquarters, and in Georgia. The delegation is also matchmaking with U.S. companies seeking to establish or expand their business relations in Panama.

“Delta, which is the second largest U.S. carrier in Latin America, has been transforming its offerings to the region to provide services reflective of demands of customers from Latin America traveling away from the region,” said Pete Ross, Delta’s General Manager for Multi National Accounts in Latin America. “In Panama we have sustained services that are trusted by top corporations traveling between our countries. These corporations represent $18 million on air travel every year and Delta accounts for approximately a 20 percent share of that market.”

Panamanian representatives highlighted advantages offered to businesses seeking to grow in Panama including fiscal incentives such as exemption from income tax and VAT for certain services.

“Air travel increases along with the growth of the GDP of a region, thus, to promote the growth of business benefits the airline industry, our countries and communities,” said Ross. “Delta’s strong performance in Latin America is an indicator that our customers show preference for the services we provide to Panama in addition to the other 30 countries we serve in the region.”

Roberto Roy, minister for Canal Affairs with the Panama Canal Authority, said Panama is in the process of expanding its canal, which provides 144 trade routes to 1,700 ports - including Savannah, which serves Atlanta - in 160 countries. 

Additionally, Panama has invested in the transformation of the former U.S. Army South Headquarters, Fort Clayton, in the old U.S. Panama Canal Zone, which now is the City of Knowledge. 

“Panama bet on knowledge as the equation that will split successful countries from non-successful ones,” said Dr. Jorge Arosemena, executive director, City of Knowledge. “The City of Knowledge is dedicated to science, technology and education and provides a great advantage for researchers.”