Panama with Spain

I just returned from visiting our friends in Panama, impressed with this country of contrasts in which political stability, progress and economic growth is in the air. It had been four years since the last time I had been there and this time I experienced how the country has become a commercial and tourist reference worldwide.

Although Panama is a small country of 77,000 square kilometers, it has an infinity of contrasts and tourist attractions ranging from exotic beaches, the capital city with more than 35 skyscrapers or the Casco Viejo where historic buildings have remarkedly improved in these four years and the impressive Panama Canal, which for 100 years has improved international trade shortening the distances and which will soon complete its enlargement.

There are many spanish companies that have a good reputation and prestige in Panama and see the country as a logistical and business springboard to export their products.

In the culinary field, with the intention to continue bringing closer Panamenian and Spanish cuisine, the Economic and Commercial Office of the Spanish Embassy in Panama and the Spanish Agency for Export Promotion (ICEX ) have organized since the past three years The Spanish Food and Wines Exhibition in Central America to promote spanish gastronomy through samplings of new products, becoming a meeting point for industry professionals in the country.

Aproximately 46.5 % of the families from Panama City have a high economic level and have started to demand more imported products. The growing presence of them on the shelves of supermarkets or specialized stores, restaurants, hotels and bars is the best indicator.

Among the most popular products imported from Spain we can find canned vegetables and fish, olive oil, olives, iberian ham and the highly valued red wine that has seen a increasing sale in recent years .

spanish-canned-food-in-panama-markets

According to ICEX reports, Spain is the second country after Chile that exports more wine to Panama, with a market share of 13.55% in 2012. The potential consumer of Spanish wine are senior tourists, American or European, accustomed to drink wine, or Panamanians with high purchasing power because imported wines from Spain can not compete on price with the Chileans and Argentines.

And indeed, visiting one of the most frequented delicatessen stores by our Panamanian friends, we found our brands of canned tuna, asparagus and roasted navarra´s piquillo peppers, a variety of olive oil brands and a great selection of wines, including especially those of Ribera del Duero, Rioja and Albariño, with an increase in price of at least 60% compared to its price in Spain.

gourmet store in panama

Surely this destination in expansión is perfect to internationalize and promote our highly valued products, not only considering that Panama is historically an importer, with 20% of food and beverages from other markets, but also because thanks to the Association Agreement between the EU and Central America many tariffs have been eliminated favoring European exports to Panama.

I hope you can transform this information to promote an iniciative to internationalize your products. From Vipex Consulting we are ready to help.

Susana Sánchez, Export Adviser at VIPEX Consulting

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