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The bill to create Colón Free Port was approved by the National Assembly. The government of President Juan Carlos Varela believes that this will be one of the solutions to resolve the problems of the Colon Free Zone which is in trouble due to the South American market crisis. The second step is for that legislative body to sanction the bill.
Augusto Arosemena, Minister of Commerce, said that the bill seeks to increase trade in restaurants, economic activity and Colón’s culture to attract tourism to the province.
The Minister added that “foreigners will have the opportunity to buy goods free of value added tax and Panamanians will have a purchase limit of $1,000 per semester, so they can also have access to the commercial opportunities the Colón Free Port will offer.”
Marcos Tellez, president of the Colón Free Zone Users Association said that once the Colón Free Port starts operating it will become a small market for the Free Zone, but it will not solve the problems of this commercial area.
The bill includes a mechanism that compels property owners to make improvements to their buildings within the 16 roads of Colón City in a period of no longer than five years.
Once the investors are properly registered they will be able to build, restore, convert buildings into offices, establishments, shops, factories, warehouses or whatever infrastructure is needed to develop the special free port system.