Saturday, October 20, 2012

History of the Colon, Panama Free Zone

History of the Colon, Panama Free Zone

Genesis of the Colon Free Zone

Dr. Thomas E. Lyons, an American citizen and specialist in foreign trade zones, by order of then President Jimenez Enriques conducted a feasibility study in Panama in order to build a free trade zone. Knowing the importance of the geographical position of the city of Colon and the harbors adjacent to this city, Dr. Lyons says in his studies that the city of Columbus is the right place for the long-awaited Free Zone. The President of the Republic issued Decree Law No. 18 June 1948, by which it established the Colon Free Zone, as an autonomous institution of the Panamanian state, which would have its own legal status, but subject to the inspection and supervision of the President's Office and the Comptroller General.

The first board of the Colon Free Zone was established on July 1948, being made up as follows:
·                                 President Agustin Cedeño
·                                 Manuel Castillo Secretary
·                                 Treasurer Herbert Toledano
·                                 Roberto Einsenmann Vocal
·                                 George Bennet Vocal
·                                 Galileo Solis Advisor

Note that this free trade zone, began working in the building on Calle 5 Arboix and then moved into the building in the Four Power Portobelo on 12th Street and Ave Melendez. As soon becomes law of the land, the Free Zone company began operations with ten and thirty-five acres, today there is more than three thousand companies and thousand sixty-five acres.
One of the most important projects of the fiscal year is the construction of the International Airport of passengers and cargo, for which we have designed more than 270 hectares and proudly carried the name of President Enrique A. Jimenez.
The first manager was Don Silvio Salazar, whose appointment became effective on December 2, 1950. Unfortunately, Mr. Salazar resignation and his replacement Don Mario de Diego was appointed on June 22, 1951.

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