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Caterpillar to Open Heavy Equipment Operator Training Center in Panama


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The April 12, 2008 edition of La Prensa, Panama reports that Caterpillar, the world's largest manufacturer of construction and mining equipment, diesel and natural gas engines, and industrial gas turbines, has purchased land in Veraguas, district of Arraij´┐Żn, Panama for a training center.

Caterpillar has signed a buy sell agreement with the Panamanian government for two pieces of land totaling just over 100 hectares which translates to 250 acres. La Prensa reports the purchase price for the land for the Caterpillar training center in Panama as $6,749,815.67.

The government is giving this matter high priority. Panama is interested in private investment in the areas of technology, logistics and education among others and the Caterpillar project fits all of these. La Prensa notes that the government has given assurances of its full support in the development of this project and as Caterpillar increases its presence in Panama and throughout Central America.

The Panama Caterpillar training center will be part of a complex including a regional office, logistics and distribution center and a full apprenticeship training facility for operating and maintaining Caterpillar's various brands of heavy equipment.

Development in Central America

Caterpillar is expanding its presence in Central America with its training center in Panama. A number of issues are involved here.

First, Central America is growing economically with Panama at the lead. Projects such as Plan Puebla Panama which seek to integrate roads, ports, airports, electric grids and telecommunications from southern Mexico through to Colombia will need the tools to carry out their projects. Caterpillar stands to profit by selling lots of heavy equipment along the way. Caterpillar stands to gain from projects such as the Panama Canal expansion as well as port improvements throughout Central America. In order for local companies to use Caterpillar's equipment Caterpillar needs to set up a heavy equipment training facility in the area and has chosen Panama as its site.

Why a Caterpillar Training Center in Panama?

First, operators of much of Caterpillar's equipment will be locals and thus travel will be less of a problem than if Caterpillar trained in the USA. The second issue is US Homeland Security. This is not the first training center to be located outside of the USA. Getting visas for trainees is becoming more and more of a problem so companies such as Caterpillar are moving more and more of their operations, their infrastructure, out of the USA and closer to where the work and the sales are. In the case of the Panama Caterpillar training center Panama will benefit.

Investment in Panama

Panama already has the highest per capita investment from the United States of any Latin American country. The Caterpillar Panama training center is just one more example. The area around the old canal zone, which was off limits to Panamanians when the US ran the canal, is booming with investment. From a historic housing boom to development of businesses, talk of vehicle assembly plants, and the new Panama interoceanic highway things are booming in Panama.

If you are interested in investment opportunities in Panama, contact ABPanama. We have over twenty-three years of experience managing investment portfolios. If you are interested in purchasing property in Panama City or anywhere in Panama, contact ABPanama. The boom promises to continue for years and property values promise to grow along with Panama's prosperity.

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