According to a statement from the Ministry of Agricultural Development, five Panamanian banana packaging companies have been authorized to export the fruit to China.
The packaging centers are Banapiña de Panama SA, Finca Barú, Empacadora Miraflores Finca 72 COOBANA RL, Empacadora Finca 76 COOBANA RL, and Empacadora San Antonio Finca 80 COOBANA RL, which belong to the Banapiña Panamá SA and the Cooperativa de Servicios Múltiples Bananeros del Atlántico (COOBANA) RL companies, located in the provinces of Chiriquí and Bocas de Toro, respectively.
Minister Augusto Valderrama highlighted that these would allow the opening of new markets, which would boost Panamanian agricultural product exports and promote the economic reactivation and job creation in a sector that has continued producing amidst the pandemic.
Bananas have established themselves as Panama's main export item. Between January and July of this year, Panama exported a total of 10.9 million boxes of bananas worth 85.4 million dollars via the Banapiña, Chiquita Panama, and Coobana companies.
It should be noted that banana exports went from 23.9 million dollars in the first quarter of 2018 to 29.9 million dollars in the same period of 2019, showing an increase of 24.7%, according to data from the National Institute of Statistics and Censuses.