Panama International Merchandise Mart S.A. Creates Latin America's First Merchandise Mart

COLON CITY, Panama, Feb. 28 /Xinhua-PRNewswire/ -- Yet unseen in Latin America, the Panama International Merchandise Mart (PIMM) is under development near the Colon Free Zone as the region's first Wholesale Merchandise Mart. The Mart offers a unique wholesale concept because most Latin American and Caribbean buyers cannot enter the United States due to visa restrictions. Thanks to the Panama International Merchandise Mart, Latin American buyers will be able to visit our mart and place orders, announced company founder Reynald Henry Katz.

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Panama International Merchandise Mart S.A. will be built on 92 acres. The project's first phase will cost $50 million, and the entire project will reach $1 billion by 2015.

The PIMM will complement the Colon Free Zone logistic operation because merchandise sold there will be shipped either from the Colon Free Zone or from manufacturer's plants to their final destination. Trade at the Colon Free Zone reached $14.8 billion in 2006, a 17.7 % increase compared to the prior year. With plenty of warehouse space available but with show room space availability being at its maximum capacity and some 2,500 companies waiting to operate at the Colon Free Zone, PIMM is poised to fill the gap and become the best alternative for Latin American buyers. PIMM is a project of national economic interest, said Katz.

It is estimated that each showroom's yearly trade will reach $2 million, and with 672 showrooms, the Mart should generate $1.3 billion by 2009 and $6 billion by 2010.

The concept is simple: Offer manufacturers from around the world the ability to buy and operate their own permanent showroom at the PIMM near the Colon Free Zone, a wholesale mall environment that will allow them to reach 450 million Latin American and Caribbean consumers.

With a stable government, the U.S. dollar as legal tender, inflation at just 2.3 %, and no tax on profit because of its offshore status, Panama is today the best place to invest in Latin America. It is considered the hub of Latin America and the Caribbean, said Katz.

Showroom sales will range from between $1,600.00 and $2,000.00 per square meter; construction costs are approximately $500.00 or less. Profitability is tremendous and investor returns should be generous, said Katz.

When complete, the Mart will feature 3,000 showrooms, a convention center, an exposition center, hotels, office parks, housing developments, and banks. An estimated 25,000 people are expected to visit the Mart daily through 2010, and there is still room for expansion on the 92 acres of land -- The sky is the limit, said Katz. ( HTTP://WWW.PANAMAMERCHANDISEMART.COM )

PIMM expects its stock to be trading soon on the Panama Stock Exchange. Actually a private placement is taking place, and, at its initial public offering, the stock should be traded at above $2.00 per share. Twenty-five percent of the company will be sold on a fully diluted basis of $200 million pre-money valuation.

Source: Panama International Merchandise Mart, S.A.
Keywords: Real Estate