Panama could surge in e-commerce with national single window

Panama’s implementation of a national single window as the only entry point that integrates information on Customs, foreign trade and the port community system, among others, can be a relevant point of support to jump to a higher level in electronic commerce. This was assured by a specialist on the subject, Gustavo Davis, the local manager of CrimsonLogic with headquarters in Singapore and regional offices for Latin America in Panama-

The company provides systems in several key areas in Panama, Chile and other countries, as well as being responsible for the inter- operability of single windows in the Pacific Alliance (PA).

The PA is made up of Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru and its purpose is to turn the bloc into a world power of business and opportunity and one of its main target markets is the Pacific coast, one of the fundamental regions of the global economy.

Heardquarters of CrimsonLogic in Singapore.

Heardquarters of CrimsonLogic in Singapore.

In Panama the company provides Customs systems to the Ministry of Commerce and Industries and the Colon Free Zone (ZLC) one of the main free trade zones in the world.

Davis explained that it is intended to open a debate around the desirability of having a national single window that is on other platforms and allows a unique and simplified experience to the user.

He said that Panama has the tools to create an external electronic ring for a single point of entry for the user, and have a national single window, which is a typical tool in countries such as the United States, Canada and Singapore, which are already at another level of maturity in e-government.

He acknowledged the interest of the company, which also has a presence in Chile, Peru, Trinidad and Tobago and the Bahamas, to promote the idea in Panama and considered positive that the Logistics Cabinet of Panama is also focused on an idea similar to that of the national single window.

In February, 2012, the government of Panama launched the Logistics Cabinet with the aim of promoting new strategies for the development of the maritime, air and land cargo transport industry and to position Panama as a regional commercial center.

It was also announced that the National Logistics Council, made up of representatives of several Panamanian entities, would meet every two months to analyze the progress that would help identify and increase Panama’s new alternatives and logistics capabilities in the commercial flow and services.

According to Davis, it would not take much in the case of Panama, because it has the Integrated Customs Management System (SIGA) and VentanillaUnica de Comercio Exterior (VUCE) which, together, constitute a model or pillar of a National Foreign Trade Window (VNCE).

“It is a matter of regulation and harmonization of processes between government entities that agree on the legal framework in which this platform would operate,” said the manager of CrimsonLogic, stressing that this is a matter of agreements for the use of the same technology.

He explained that the initiative proposes a platform that integrates the user experience and indicated that one of the platforms referred to works independently and with its own rules and independent engine.

Davis said that what is wanted is that when a natural person wants to do a foreign trade process, it can be done from a single point of view or from a single window to understand all the requirements and steps that must be met, regardless of which means of transport the person wants to use, what kind of merchandise is involved or whether it is for import or export.

The representative of CrimsonLogic also considered important the work for this project that can be done with the Government Innovation Authority (AIG) of Panama, the Logistics Cabinet and the Ministry of Commerce and Industries of Panama, verifying that entities such as the National Customs Authority are included.

In addition, he estimated that Panama would jump many points at a competitive level with the implementation of the single window, which he ensured would result in a greater attraction for foreign direct investment and social and educational impact.

He said that after the recent establishment of diplomatic relations between Panama and China last June and considering Panamanian territory as a transit point or “hub” for the redistribution of merchandise, such trade facilitation and logistics can be offered to a market like China.

Likewise, he indicated that Panama is already preparing to connect to the Pacific Alliance, a mechanism to which it aspires to belong, and which is contemplated with a national logistics plan that they presented recently.

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