Panama has been associated with trade and commerce since it was first discovered by Rodrigo de Bastidas in 1501. He was sailing westward from Venezuela in search of gold and stumbled into the isthmus.
Currently Panama is an international business center, and has the largest economy in Central America, followed by Guatemala, Costa Rica and El Salvador. It is also the fastest growing economy and the largest per capita consumer in Central America.
Even though the rest of the world is having a hard time adjusting to a pesky global recession, Panama’s economy is growing and international direct investments are still flowing in. I recently found out that Salvadorian money is being invested in this small country.
The project is called Metromall. Metromall, promoted as the future of shopping in Panama, is located near Tocumen International Airport and will be opened this year before the holiday season begins.
Metromall’s construction began in November 2007 on 24 hectares of land under the direction of the Roble Group, a division of the Poma Group of El Salvador.
The project is being built in front of the giant Los Pueblos mall, an area with more than half a million residents and $700 million in annual sales. The sales will be enhanced by international tourists shopping in Panama and finding items at affordable prices compared to other countries. It is estimated that investment in this new complex will reach $100 million, according to industry sources.
Directors of the new mall indicated that this project by the Roble Group, the same company that built the unique Multiplaza Pacific in the Panamanian capital, is perhaps the most ambitious in the history of the holding group in terms of size and its portfolio of clients.
The project seeks to draw customers from two primary geographic markets — the sector of Juan Diaz which is estimated at 93,400 households, and the Special District of San Miguelito, the second largest in the country with almost 500,000 residents, stated Adriana Kudo, marketing manager of the Roble Group, during a news conference. According to market research, Kudo asserted that the project will generate an estimated $700 million annually.
Once opened, the mall is expected to receive an average of 50,000 to 60,000 visitors a day, thanks to its strategic location.
Panamanians take two things very seriously—carnivals and shopping. Good Day.
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