Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper is heading to Panama with local tourism and business leaders Wednesday, hoping to increase trade with the Central American country and to work with officials there to launch a nonstop flight between Denver International Airport and Panama City.
Colorado now exports about $15 million a year in goods to Panama — a number that has gone up since the U.S.-Panama Free Trade Agreement went into effect in 2011 and is expected to continue to rise.
Because Panama is not a strong manufacturing company, Colorado companies have an opportunity to supply businesses there with high-tech and other goods they may need, Garnica said.
Executives from Teletech Holdings Inc.,Dish Network Corp., Liberty Global Inc. and CH2MHill will travel with government officials on the trip, looking for increased trade opportunities, Garnica said.
Colorado Tourism Office Director Al White and DIA officials also will go along, as part of the Denver airport’s ongoing effort to get a direct nonstop flight into Panama’s capital city, Garnica said.
Officials hope to use the trip to become more familiar with the needs of Panamanian business travelers, seeing the airport as both a travel destination and as a connection point to South America, she said.
The trip comes less than two months before the start of the 2013 Biennial of the Americas, a celebration of the Western Hemisphere scheduled to begin July 16 in Denver. Officials also will discuss that event with Panamanian officials.
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