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Security and Safety Equipment
A Top U.S. Export Prospect for Panama

May 2013

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Market Estimates

(in US$ millions)

2011

2012

2013est

2014est

Total Market Size

$59.0

66.0

74.0

85.0

Total Local Production

0.0

0.0

0.0

0.0

Total Exports

0.0

0.0

0.0

0.0

Total Imports

59.0

66.0

74.0

85.0

Imports from the U.S.

32.0

36.0

40.0

45.0

The above statistics are unofficial estimates.

Overview

The market for security and safety equipment continues to present a very good outlook. While the crime rate is still relatively low, particularly by Latin American standards, it has risen in the last few years and there is increasing public awareness of the need to respond.

Commercial institutions and households are usual targets for armed assaults. There is also an increasing need for security equipment in residential areas and public places. Because of raising labor costs, many businesses and households are automating security. Additionally, the boom in the construction sector and the expansion of the Panama Canal is generating strong demand for safety equipment.

The United States has kept a strong presence in the security and safety equipment sector with more than 50 percent market share during recent years. This situation is likely to improve as a result of the Trade Promotion Agreement between the U.S. and Panama, which has eliminated import duties on U.S.-made products in this sector. American products are considered to be of high quality, and the proximity of the U.S. for spare parts and servicing needs continues to give U.S. companies a competitive advantage. Major competitors are from Japan, Korea and Germany. There are no restrictions on the entry of security and safety equipment. U.S. and European standards are accepted in Panama. Main users are banks, the Panama Canal, retailers, ports, hotels, airports, hospitals, and large local and multinational corporations.

Sub-Sector Best Prospects

Best sales prospects are electronic surveillance equipment, fire and burglar alarms, smoke detectors, and safe/strong boxes. Car alarm systems are always in strong demand. All types of safety equipment such as gloves, eyeglasses, harnesses, vests, etc., are in great demand.

Opportunities

New gated communities in Panama City and condominiums are increasing the use of surveillance electronic equipment. The Panama Canal is also a major user of security and safety equipment, as well as the ports, which rank as the largest in the region.

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.