Triny MARY ZEA
Panama, a small country in Central America is close to reaching the same level of leading nations of Europe and Asia to market processes.
This means that if you are a trader, just by being in this piece of land has an advantage over its competitors to put time their products in other markets.
This was demonstrated, the Panama occupy leading positions worldwide in the ranking of Border Trade, evaluating processes, time and cost to import and export goods starting with the contractual agreement between the two parties and ending with the delivery of goods.
The ranking of trade, as well as other comparative indices and a report of the Economic Commission for Latin America (ECLA) left Panama in the best locations in Latinamerica, preceded only by Chile and Argentina.
The document Diagnosis and proposals for the improvement of logistics and customs processes in Central America and Panama, published in April 2010, assesses the export logistics in Central America from the perspective of the employer to the micro, small and medium enterprises.
Panama is the only country in the region that significantly reduced the number of documents to export from nine to three, close to France that called for just two in 2009.
As for imports, Panama is the country closest to the lower number of required documents worldwide with only four forms, for the two of France in the same year.
This issue becomes important because each new authorization must obtain an undertaking international trade is reduced by 4.2% according to Doing Business.
Meanwhile, all countries have reduced their time to prepare documentation for export and import but are still nine days away from requiring both paperwork in Panama.
Singapore, Denmark and Estonia lead the shortest time to prepare documentation for export, with five days, and Singapore only requires three days for the import paperwork.
"Every day of delay in export amounts to a cost of 1% of the volume of trade," the report said.
Panama had the lowest value in terms of costs associated with the export process in Latin America in 2009 with $ 729.
El Salvador registered the lowest cost of import processes $ 820.
Malaysia and Singapore were the most competitive globally, they report costs between $ 450 and $ 456 for export and $ 439 and $ 450 for import.
Meanwhile, the indicator of the World Bank's logistics performance, which measures the ability of countries to connect to global markets, highlighting Panama in terms of port logistics infrastructure throughout the hemisphere.
"The next step as a country should be scanning the documents and processes," said Eric Dormoi, international sales manager Selects Canned Panama, who says his company takes maximum two days to do the paperwork.
For its part, the report suggests improving delays at the borders of Central America and Panama recommends extending the opening hours of customs.
One would think that at this stage of exports of goods should be thriving, which is the opposite, it fell 6% from January to August compared to 2009.
"The report is based on procedures and costs, not only are the costs, other related things that are needed to stimulate the sector," said Fernando Marquez, president of the National Union of Small and Medium Enterprises.
The problem, according to Marquez, is that the bank is not financing for exports, and "you have to buy boxes, labels. If you do not have the resources are not exported, "he said. Another point is that insurance is needed to export.
Manuel Fernandez, president of the Panamanian Association of Exporters, said that the only delay you have is in port for customs clearance and shipping, where they have to wait on average about six hours to enter the container to the terminal.
For the union the problem of logistics, but Panama is not financial, weather and pests, which triggered a crisis three years ago and the authorities still do not have a strategy to lift the sector.