PANAMA CITY, Panama — Panama will promote sustainable economic growth by improving its competitiveness with a digital environment and boosting its emerging sectors with a $200 million loan approved by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB). The IDB loan of $200 million has a repayment term of 15 years, a grace period of 5.5 years and an interest rate based on LIBOR.
In order for Panama to maximize its capacity to sustain high performance in the long term, it is key to focus its efforts on an environment that adopts digital technology to facilitate business operation.
In this sense, the project aims to generate the conditions that drive productive development, the adoption of quality standards and innovation, as well as contributing to developing additional sources of income generation with export potential, such as creative and cultural industries (ICC), the information and communications technology (ICT), and tourism industries.
This is the first of a series of two operations, independent but technically linked, under the Policy-Based Programmatic Loan (PBP) modality.
The project will focus on the digitalization of processes with high demand, such as building permits from the Municipality of Panama or commercial movements in the Colon Free Zone, as well as encouraging private investment, protection of personal digital data and digital signature. Additionally, reforms will be included to promote the follow-up to the National Industrial Competitiveness Program, the promotion of the National Quality System and the Regional Innovation Systems.
It will also seek to improve institutionality, public-private coordination, the internationalization of CCIs and the strengthening of human capital for creativity and culture. On the other hand, a strategy for the development of ICT industries will be promoted, which includes the promotion of new digital financial models, electronic invoicing and research.
Finally, the institutional framework will be strengthened to provide sustainability and continuity to Panama’s tourism promotion efforts and to connect the cultural supply and demand of the tourism sector.