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Hotel and Restaurant Equipment
A Top U.S. Export Prospect for Panama

May 2013

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Market Estimates

(in US$ billions)

2011

2012

2013est

2014est

Total Banking Assets

87.0

97.0

105.0

115.0

Local Banking Assets

0.0

0.0

0.0

0.0

Foreign Banking Assets

0.0

0.0

0.0

0.0

U.S. Banking Assets

87.0

97.0

105.0

115.0

Imports from the U.S.

52.0

55.0

63.0

69.0

The above statistics are unofficial estimates.

Overview

The market for hotel and restaurant equipment in Panama continues to be strong. A number of new hotels and restaurants are opening throughout the country, not only in Panama City but also in the beaches and the mountains in the interior close to the Costa Rican border. The most important U.S. hotel brands are all now present in Panama and a variety of restaurants, including well known U.S. franchises of fast food and other restaurants can be found in Panama City and other important cities of the country.

Part of the hotel boom is due to government laws providing fiscal and other benefits for new hotel construction. The restaurant boom has resulted from a large influx of tourists and new residents coming from Venezuela, Colombia and other countries. The large infrastructure projects such as the metro construction and the expansion of the Panama Canal have also attracted a large number of new residents and temporary workers and executives.

The hotel and restaurant market is very competitive. The U.S. keeps a strong leadership position in this market. Main competitors are from France, Italy, Spain and Brazil.

Sub- Sector Best Prospects

Best products are kitchen equipment, chafing dishes, industrial stoves, laundry equipment, and furniture in general.

Opportunities

The growth of the economy and the increasing flow of tourists as well as the Trade Promotion Agreement between the U.S. and Panama that has reduced import duties to zero for hotel and restaurant equipment are indicators of excellent market opportunities for U.S. exporters of hotel and restaurant equipment.

Web Resources

For More Information

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

Phone: 011-507-317-5392; or visit our website: http://www.export.gov/panama.