Promtur Panama Launched the Panama Association Hub

27th Jun, 2023
Promtur Panama launched the Panama Association Hub (PAH), a pioneering project in the region, which seeks to attract international associations and organisations to establish their offices and operations in the country.
It consists of supporting the establishment of non-profit, non-political and non-religious professional associations and trade bodies in a destination. The public-private bodies involved in the centre will provide support to these organisations to set up offices in the country, to help with licensing, registration and visas and to offer commercial advice to boost their business. The Ministry of the Presidency, PROPANAMA, the City of Knowledge (Ciudad del Saber) and the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) are among the public-private actors supporting this initiative that will promote the establishment of international associations and organisations in the country.
Panama is currently home to 22 international associations and is developing attraction policies to attract some of the 542 academic, medical and scientific associations that are already based in Latin America as well as others that have never been based in the Americas. The associative hub concept is a model present in only 4 places in the world: Brussels, Washington DC, Singapore and Dubai, driven by the Destination Marketing Organisations (DMOs) or Convention Bureaus of these places.
In the last 3 years, Promtur Panama has led actions to position the country as the epicentre of the meetings and conventions industry in the LATAM region. Among them are an Incentive Plan and the recent launch of an Associative Leaders Programme, through which national leaders in different specialties will be trained to attract international congresses to Panama.
"Under this context, and through the support of public-private actors, Promtur identified the Associative Centre model as an opportunity to develop an innovative concept that considers the needs of international associations, in alignment with the diversity and speciļ¬cities of Latin America. In this way, it hopes to become an incubator and accelerator for international associations seeking to increase their reach and presence in Latin America and the Caribbean," said Fernando Fondevila, CEO of Promtur Panama.
According to Carmen Gisela Vergara, Director of Propanamá, "the Panama Association Hub has the potential to contribute significantly to the economic, social and cultural development of the country and the region. The exceptional conditions that Panama offers in terms of air access and digital connectivity are undoubtedly an important differentiating factor for associations and organisations looking at where they can grow their activities and services more easily and efficiently".
Andrés Escandón, regional director for Latin America and the Caribbean at ICCA stressed that: "The Panama Association Hub should be considered a regional project, and its success will depend on factors such as government support, infrastructure development, marketing and promotion efforts, and the active participation of the local private sector and international stakeholders.
With this launch, a structuring process begins with the implementation of a Pilot Plan with the participation of the Latin American Diabetes Association. By 2024, the Panama Association Hub is expected to be fully operational with international associations based in Panama as a success story.

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