For some, Panama is a place of longing that two friends ("Little Tiger" and "Little Bear", in a well-known German children's book) go looking for because it seems to be the land of dreams.* For others, it is a place where questionable companies hide money.
When I visited the Central American metropolis in autumn 2021, I actually arrived there, contrary to my two little friends (spoiler: “Little Tiger and “Little Bear” never arrive in Panama), and found a vibrant city in a unique geographical location and - unexpectedly - crocodiles watching the ships pass through the canal.
It was the first and last long-distance trip that the 2021 pandemic allowed, and it took me via Toronto to Puebla (Mexico), Panama City and Bogota. Our network with partners in 52 countries is very difficult to maintain via TEAMS, Zoom or Skype, it works well with our existing partners, but when it comes to fundamental changes, personal presence is essential.
For example, InterGest Panama was founded as early as December 2020 and until this autumn - due to Corona - no one from headquarters had ever been there, neither I nor any of my colleagues from the management of InterGest Worldwide. IG Panama was founded as a subsidiary of InterGest Mexico and under the responsibility of our esteemed partner Gregor Vorderwülbecke from Puebla, who is also Managing Director.
As mentioned above, Panama is more centrally located than any other state between North and South America, making it an ideal "hub", especially from a logistical point of view. It is not only the canal that connects the Atlantic with the Pacific, it is also the local Copa Airlines (StarAlliance) that links all the important cities in North, Central and South America from Panama.
And Panama City itself? Coming from the airport, the skyline is reminiscent of Singapore, which is not only due to the skyscrapers, but also to the direct coastal location to the Pacific. It is a very young city, modern and actually less "Latino", but with great international restaurants, rooftop bars and casinos - the perfect mixture of Singapore, Hong Kong and Macao, if I may say so.
Of course, we don't want to hide the fact that the Panama Papers did a lot of damage to the country's reputation, but times change and there are certainly countries today that are better suited for dubious business.
If Lufthansa resumes direct flights to Panama City in March 2022 and Corona does not restrict travel again until then, you should put this destination on your wish list. Then, when you're done marvelling once you get there, I recommend a lively exchange with Gregor about the possibilities of doing business in Panama:
InterGest Panama & CA S.A.
Calle 56 Este de Obarrio
PH Sortis Business Tower
Piso 20, Oficina 2014
Corregimiento Bella Vista
Ciudad de Panamá
Código postal 07096
Tel. +52 222 426 6802
* see "Oh, how beautiful is Panama - The story of the little tiger and the little bear travelling to Panama" is an illustrated children's story by Janosch, awarded the German Youth Book Prize, published on 15 March 1978.