The construction sector in Panama continues to be leading the growth of the national
economy. A number of projects such as the $5.2 billion expansion of the Panama Canal, the
completion of Panama’s bay cleaning project, some mining projects, the metro project, and
the construction of a number of tourism and housing projects will keep the demand strong for
heavy equipment and construction machinery for at least the next few years. For an
overview of the Government of Panama’s plans in public infrastructure – which in addition to
the Canal might amount to $15 billion in investments over the next 5 years – please visit the
following link: http://export.gov/panama/majorprojectsinpanama.
U.S. construction equipment is well received because of its perceived quality and competitive
price. U.S. products in this sector enjoy a market share of over 50%. Major competitors are
Japan, Korea, Sweden and England. There are no significant restrictions on imported
products. With implementation of the U.S. Free Trade Agreement with Panama expected in
the coming year, we expect U.S. construction equipment to continue to be attractive to
Sub-Sector Best Prospects
Products offering the best opportunities are earth moving machinery, hydraulic excavators,
off-road trucks, wheeled loaders, and cranes.
The expansion of the Panama Canal is generating a great demand for all kinds of construction
equipment, especially excavators, off-road trucks, and all kind of earth moving equipment.
The project entailed massive excavation on both ends of the Canal as well as the construction
of the third set of locks capable of accommodating the Post-Panamax vessels. The $2 billion
Metro project is well underway as well. And Canadian-based Inmet Mining has received
environmental approval to go forward on a $6 billion copper mining investment, which will
rival the Panama Canal’s foreign earnings when complete.