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Computers and Peripherals
A Top Export Prospect for Panama

May 2013

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Market Estimates

(in US$ millions)

2010

2011

2012est

2013est

Total Market Size

$216

246

278

314

Total Local Production

0

0

0

0

Total Exports

0

0

0

0

Total Imports

216

246

278

314

Imports from the U.S.

125

197

212

251

The above statistics are unofficial estimates.

Overview

The following factors are responsible for the continued positive outlook of this sector:

  • Office automation is a growing trend in both the public and private sectors.
  • There are many accessible computer suppliers both locally and abroad, particularly in the Miami area.
  • There is a growing computer culture, which resulted from government programs aimed at increasing the use of computers/Internet, and modernization of existing systems in government offices as well as in public schools.
  • There is a close connection with the U.S., particularly among young Panamanians who have gone to U.S. schools or look with favor on the social networking culture. Internet services, computer magazines, journals, and other literature from the U.S. are widely available.
  • Import duty on U.S.-origin products have been reduced to zero as a result of the Trade Promotion Agreement between the U.S. and Panama.

Computer products from the U.S. are well received and are perceived as incorporating state-of-the-art technology. The U.S. has a strong position in this market with a market share over 60%. Prices for U.S. computers and peripherals are competitive against products from Korea, Taiwan and Japan. The most promising end users are banks, commercial establishments, universities, the Panama Canal, and government organizations.

Sub-Sector Best Prospects

Best prospects are personal computers, LAN equipment, laptops, and laser printers.

Opportunities

The Government of Panama is a major computer user. It has been committed to increasing use and modernization of computer systems and has promoted the Internet access for most of the population. In addition, the Government has committed to paying for all software licenses for Microsoft Office users, which it is touting as a first in Latin America. The Panama Canal and the banking sector are also important buyers of computer equipment and are always current with technology. The Panama Canal has set a high standard for the rest of the government by publicizing all public tenders, both upcoming and awarded, in a fully searchable database that is web-accessible to the public.

Web Resources

For More Information

The U.S. Commercial Service in Panama can be contacted via e-mail at: Enrique.Tellez@trade.gov;

Phone: 011-507-317-5080; or visit our website: http://www.export.gov/panama.