According to the latest Globalization Index for Latin America issued by the Latin Business Chronicle, Panama is the most globalized country in Latin America while Brazil ranks as the least globalized although both countries and the region as a whole improved their scores.
The Globalization Index measures six key indicators to globalization such as: export and import of goods and services, direct foreign investment, income from tourism, remittances and penetration of the Internet. Due to the increase in its levels of imports and exports, increased foreign investment and solid tourism market Panama managed to place itself at the top of the list in terms of globalization for Latin America followed closely by Honduras.
Panama is not only at the top of the list for this year but recent developments in trade negotiations with Europe almost assure that it will remain in the top spot for time to come. Panama and other banana exporting countries in Latin America have reached and agreement with the European Union regarding the reduction of tariffs on the imports of banana’s from Latin America to Europe. For over 16 years Latin America and the European Union have been engaged in what is called “the banana wars” started by the EU decision to increase tariffs on Latin America’s banana imports. This decision ravaged the banana industry for many years. Its reversal is sure to bring positive signs to Panama’s economy as its boasts thousands of hectares of banana plantations.
The European Union agreed to decrease the tariffs from 176 Euros per ton to 148 Euros per ton until in eight years it reaches 114 Euros per ton and agrees to reimburse the tariffs paid by the exporting countries from the date of the agreement until the date on which it is signed and sealed as official. This is sure to give a huge boost to export of products in Panama making it a solid contender for top position in the next globalization index.
For a list of the Current Administration of Panama: PanamaQmagazine