Panama Gateway International Association, Inc. (PGIA) was created in October 2012 as a United States independent, non-profit, non-political association. PGIA is the successor to the United States Panama Business Council, Southeast, Inc. (USPA-SE) which was created in 2008.
PGIA is an international association for business education, marketing and promotion to increase awareness of business opportunities primarily between the United States and Panama that will facilitate and increase global commerce. PGIA “connects” the networks of private enterprises and public institutions, from logistics to finance to Panamanian and United States organizations and government agencies.
For United States exporters and importers making strategic global decisions, PGIA is the educational business conduit in “Connecting the Hemispheres” to link the goals and objectives of the following initiatives:
- United States National Export Initiative (NEI)
- United States Supply Chain & Logistics (SCL)
- United States & Panama Free Trade Agreement (FTA)
- Panama Canal Expansion (PCE)
- Panama Distribution Hub (PDH)
National Export Initiative (NEI):
The National Export Initiative (NEI) is a strategy created by President Obama’s administration to double U.S. exports between 2010 and the end of 2014 and support 2 million domestic jobs through increased intergovernmental cooperation in export promotion.
The NEI is focused on (1) improving trade advocacy and export promotion efforts; (2) increasing access to credit, especially for small and medium-sized businesses; (3) removing barriers to the sale of U.S. goods and services abroad; (4) robustly enforcing trade rules; and (5) pursuing policies at the global level to promote strong, sustainable, and balanced growth.
The NEI goal of doubling U.S. exports between 2010 and the end of 2014 is intended to be accomplished by addressing eight specific items:
- Increase export assistance to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs)
- Promote federal resources currently available to assist U.S. companies
- In consultation with state and local government officials, as well as the private sector, lead trade missions to promote American exports
- Increase commercial advocacy by the federal government
- In partnership with the Export-Import Bank, increase access to financing for SMEs who are looking to export
- Macroeconomic rebalancing, by promoting balanced and strong growth in the world economy through international partnerships
- Reduce barriers to trade and improve market access for domestic producers, by opening new markets and enforcing trade agreements
- Create a framework to promote services trade
Supply Chain & Logistics (SCL)
PGIA will work in conjunction with the Advisory Committee on Supply Chain Competitiveness, (ACSCC), of the US Department of Commerce, International Trade Administration.
The Committee’s work is intended to further the Administration’s domestic and global economy export and job growth goals. The 40-member senior-level private sector representatives of multiple industries and supply chain experts was established November 2011 to provide the Secretary of Commerce with detailed advice on the elements of a comprehensive supply chain competitiveness national freight infrastructure and national freight policy to support U.S. supply chain and export competitiveness.
PGIA’s role it is to act as a liaison between industry and government, and is an important step toward ensuring regular contact with the supply chain industries, including manufacturers, distributors and exporters.
Free Trade Agreement (FTA):
Panama and the United States signed and implemented a Free Trade Agreement in 2011. The U.S.-Panama FTA is a comprehensive free trade agreement that can result in significant liberalization of trade in goods and services, including financial services. A secondary benefit is commerce opportunities with other countries that also have Free Trade Agreements with the United States.
Panama Canal Expansion (PCE):
The expansion of the Panama Canal is another major initiative project that is scheduled to double the capacity of the Panama Canal by 2015 by allowing more and larger ships to transit. The expansion will create demand for the United States ports and logistics sectors to handle the post-Panamax ships.
Panama Distribution Hub (PDH):
Panama, because of its geographic location, the dollarize currency, Free Trade Zones and the Panama Canal, is the business and logistics “hub” for Central and South America. In the United States, Atlanta, Georgia is the southeastern “hub” for business, logistics, and trade. Clients of port authorities, air and land cargo and Chambers of Commerce are striving for knowledge as to how to increase sales and marketing opportunities in this hemisphere. PGIA will be the leader for global education, training, networking and research for import/export initiative programs for business leaders interested in the Republic of Panama as the Central & South America Re-Distribution Hub for goods and services.
“CONNECTING THE HEMISPHERES”
PGIA through its educational symposiums, forums, workshops and training programs, is strategically position to build marketing awareness of business opportunities in the 5 major initiatives outlined above, will position PGIA as the premier association for “Connecting the Hemisphere.”