Panama is planning to compete in the software IT business and become a world-class export cluster, not just for software but also for other technologies like hardware and services, local press reported.
To that end, Panamanian technology and telecoms chamber Capatec will push Bizfit, an international event to promote exports of innovative technologies.
Most local software is developed by the Universidad Tecnológica de Panamá as part of a national ICT strategy that aims to position Panama as a global technology exporter by 2018.
Some companies operating in this market are already billing more than US$10mn a year, selling to countries like Costa Rica, Mexico, El Salvador, Honduras, the Dominican Republic, Colombia and Peru.
Capatec president Jaime Blanco noted that local software mainly focuses on the educational and financial sectors, particularly for online banking platforms.
One of these companies is Grupo ASI, with US$9mn-14mn in software exports for the financial segment every year, according to Grupo ASI CEO Ernesto Rosas Sandoya. The company sells 80% of its products to Mexico, Central America and South America. "We compete neck in neck with big exporters like India, Ireland and US," he said.