GOVERNOR SCOTT'S BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT MISSION PANAMA
Locations: Panama City
Dates: March 17 – 18, 2011
Governor Scott’s first mission in office was to Panama, where he saw the expansion of the Panama Canal and its importance to Florida’s economic development efforts, as well as its standing as the gateway to Latin America. The delegation – which included six Florida port directors, business leaders and executives from the Florida Chamber of Commerce, Florida Association of Manufacturers and Associated Industries of Florida – enhanced Florida’s economic relationship with Panama through strengthened ties between state leaders, the Republic of Panama and Florida seaports with the Panama Canal Authority.
Panama is the world’s transit capital. Transit through the Panama Canal grew last year at 7.5 percent and is projected to continue to grow at a rate of 7 percent for each of the next five years. For the first time in a century since its completion, the Canal is undergoing a massive $5 billion expansion to allow post-Panamax ships to deliver goods directly from the Far East to America’s eastern shore. Panama imports $1.2 billion from Florida and $2 billion through the ports of Florida, highlighting its importance to the state’s economy.