PANAMA CITY, Feb. 18 (Xinhua) -- Trade in the Panamanian free trade zone of Colon, one of the world's busiest FTZs, increased 24.7 percent in January compared to the same period the year before, a top official said on Sunday.
Manuel Grimaldo, manager of the FTZ, where nearly 2,500 companies are operating, said in a statement the zone saw over 1.718 billion U.S. dollars in trade in the first month of the year, including 775.5 million dollars in imports and 943.2 million dollars in reexports.
In January of 2016, imports reached 700.6 million dollars, while reexports amounted to 677.8 million dollars.
The zone, located in the northern province of Colon, has seen an increase in imports of alcoholic beverages, including beer; pharmaceuticals and medicine; and sound system components and computers, Grimaldo said.
Imports of shoes also saw an uptick, as did gold jewelry and other precious metals; perfumes, cosmetics, toothpastes and other personal care items; and cigarettes.
In the area of reexports, also known as entrepot trade, alcoholic beverages and pharmaceuticals also dominated, followed by radios, TVs, and wireless telecommunication devices, as well as artificial synthetic fibers, personal care items, and cigarettes.
Most of the merchandise arriving at the FTZ came from Singapore, China, the United States and Mexico, while reexports were mainly destined for Panama, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, the Dominican Republic and the United States.
Colon's FTZ, which has seen some fluctuation in business in recent years, is keen to continue promoting its services globally to seek new markets, said Grimaldo.