Welcome to the official website of Panama Invest 2017. 

This year’s unique half-day Panama Invest conference took place on Thursday 12 October 2017 from 9.00-14.00 in Central London.     

The event brought together high level speakers including Panamanian and British Trade Ministers, Ambassadors and a range of senior business figures both from Panama and from international companies who spoke about their experience of doing business in the region using Panama as a base and why for them Panama is the Gateway to Latin America.

The opening plenary session served as an introduction to Panama’s business climate and the current opportunities  and support available to foreign investors. Following this plenary, attendees had the opportunity to attend one of two breakout sessions. These two panels will explore different opportunities and investor perspectives on:

  • Panama as a hub for Multinationals 
  • Connectivity: Panama's unique value for multi-modal logistics and energy distribution
Before participants had the chance to network over a buffet lunch, everyone reconvened for a closing plenary session to hear summaries from the other panels and the closing remarks for the day. 

Throughout the day, there was plenty of opportunity for discussion and exchange with all of the speakers and panellists. For more details about the speakers and topics, please see below. 


8.20-9.00: Registration and Tea & Coffee 

9.00-9.10: Welcoming Words by HE Daniel Fábrega Venier, Ambassador of the Republic of Panama to the UK (C) 

9.10-9.15: Introductions by event moderator: Jacopo Dettoni, Deputy Editor, FDi Magazine – Financial Times (C) 

9.15- 9.25: The Rt Hon Sir Alan Duncan KCMG MP, Minister of State for Europe and the Americas, Foreign & Commonwealth Office (C) 

9.25-9.50: Panama – The Gateway to Latin America: Hon Augusto Arosemena Moreno, Minister of Commerce and Industry, Panama (C) 

9.50- 10.00: Q&A with Minister led by event moderator: Jacopo Dettoni, Deputy Editor, FDi Magazine – Financial Times (C) 

10.00-10.30: Coffee Break 

10.30-11.45: Break out sector sessions in different rooms with panels of experts focusing on the following:


Panel A: Connectivity: Panama´s unique value for multimodal logistics and energy distribution 

Moderator: John Manners-Bell, CEO, Transport Intelligence (C) 

  • ‘Panama’s National Logistics Strategy 2030’

Alberto Alemán, Director, PROINVEX (C) 

Roger Savage, Client Director, Cities and International Development, Atkins Global (C)


Kristina Lund, CFO - Strategic Business Unit for Europe and Asia, The AES Corporation (C)


  • ‘Building and operating a renewable energy plant in Panama’

Neil Perry, CFO, Solarcentury (C)


  • ‘Liverpool and Panama logistics connection’

Bernard Molloy, Global Industrial Logistics Director, Unipart Logistics (C)




Panel B: Hub for Multinationals

Moderator: Chris Bennett, Managing Director, The Caribbean Council (C)


  • ‘Crafting a business environment which is globally competitive’

Hon Augusto Arosemena Moreno, Minister of Commerce and Industry, Panama (C)


  • ‘Panama-Pacifico – Providing a home for multinational companies’

Ian Livingstone, Executive Chairman, London & Regional Properties (C)


  • ‘GSK and Panama – a long-term partnership’

Fabio Landazabal, Senior Vice President for Emerging Markets, GSK (C)


  • ‘Panama – Our regional hub’

Nick Panes, Senior Partner, Control Risks (C)


  • ‘Connecting the region to the world through Panama’

Sabrina Diamante, Regional Sales Manager, Copa Airlines (C)


HE Damion Potter, British Ambassador to Panama (C)




Final Plenary Session

Moderator: Jacopo Dettoni, Deputy Editor, FDi Magazine – Financial Times (C) 

11:45– 12.15 Panel summaries with Q&A


  • Multimodal logistics, distribution and trade: Alberto Alemán, Director, PROINVEX (C) 

  • Opportunities in the Energy sector: Mr. Gilberto Ferrari, General Manager, Empresa de Transmisión Eléctrica S.A. (C) 

  • Multinationals: Hon Augusto Arosemena, Minister of Commerce and Industries (C) 

  • HE Daniel Fábrega Venier, Ambassador of the Republic of Panama to the UK (C) 


12:15 – 12:30: Event moderator closing remarks

12.30-13.30 Buffet lunch and networking

Confirmed Speaker and Moderator Biographies


Hon Augusto Arosemena Moreno, Minister of Commerce and Industry, Panama  

Minister Arosemena was appointed by the President of the Republic of Panama, Juan Carlos Varela, as Minister of Commerce and Industry in January 2016 to replace former Minister Meliton Arrocha. Previous to this appointment, he served as Vice-Minister of the Presidency from July 2014 to December 2015.

From 2009 to 2014, Minister Arosemena served in one of Panama’s most prestigious international law firms, ARIFA which is part of the prosecution team for the Odebrecht case, advising financial institutions focused on structured finance transactions and related contracts, as well as multinational firms in the establishment of greenfield projects and investment ventures.

Between 2004 and 2006, Minister Arosemena served as the Commercial Councilor in the Embassy of the Republic of Panama to the United States in Washington, D.C., channeling efforts to win support of the business community for the U.S.-Panama Trade Promotion Agreement, in effect since 2012, as well as leading critical negotiations. Among many other accomplishments, Minister Arosemena successfully led endeavors to attract major FDI projects to Panama, while working closely with U.S. and Panamanian government officials, as well as the private sector.

Minister Augusto Arosemena holds a degree in Law and Political Science from Santa Maria La Antigua University and a LLM in Banking, Corporate and Finance Law from Fordham University, New York.


The Rt Hon Sir Alan Duncan KCMG MP, Minister of State for Europe and the Americas, Foreign & Commonwealth Office  

The Rt Hon Sir Alan Duncan KCMG MP is currently the Minister of State for Europe and the Americas at the Foreign & Commonwealth Office. He was appointed to this role on 17 July 2016. Since 1992, he has been Conservative MP for Rutland and Melton. 

From 2010 to 2014, Minister Duncan served as Minister of State for International Development. Prior to this appointment, he held a number of roles in the Shadow Cabinet. Some of these roles included: Shadow Minister for Trade and Industry, Shadow Foreign Minister and Shadow Secretary for International Development.  

Minister Duncan has a degree from Oxford University. After graduating, Minister Duncan worked with Shell International from 1979 and 1981, and then worked as an oil trader for Marc Rich and Co from 1982 to 1988.  

Following these roles from 1988 to 1992, he was an independent consultant and adviser to foreign governments, specialising in oil supplies, shipping and refining. In 1989, he set up the independent Harcourt Consultants which advises on oil and gas matters, and has specialised in The Middle East for 30 years. 


HE Daniel Fabrega Venier, Ambassador of the Republic of Panama to the UK 

HE Daniel Fábrega’s academic background, his distinguished career in both local and global business and finance, plus a well-worn international passport earned in promoting his country’s trade interests position him well to represent the people of Panama in the Court of St. James’s. While serving, Ambassador Fábrega looks forward to promoting Panama’s wide array of exports, its rich resources, its destination eco-tourism, and its strategic geographic position relative to world shipping with the expansion of the Panama Canal. 

Most recently, Ambassador Fábrega has served as a Company Director and the Vice President for Exports for Varelas Hemanos S.A., the producer of the internationally distributed Ron Abuelo rum brand.  Under his watch, the company’s worldwide sales of Ron Abuelo more than doubled, helping to provide yet another element to Panama’s thriving business economy.  In that role, Ambassador Fábrega traveled extensively to open new markets and meet business leaders in the Americas, Europe and Asia. 

Ambassador Fábrega was educated in Panama and the United States, earning a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration at Loyola University in New Orleans, followed by a Master’s in Business Administration at the Universidad Latinoamericana de Ciencia y Tecnología (ULACIT) in Panama. 

Ambassador Fábrega is married, and he and his wife have two children.


HE Damion Potter, British Ambassador to Panama

HE Damion Potter is British Ambassador to the Republic of Panama. He was appointed to this position in August 2017. Prior to this, Ambassador Potter was Deputy Representative and Director of International Trade in Taipei. 

Ambassador Potter joined the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in 2000 and worked as a desk officer for European Union Directorate for a year. From 2001-2002, Ambassador Potter took up the role of EU Press Officer in Press Office and then from 2002-2005 he moved to Stockholm where he was Second Secretary, Press and Political. From 2006 – 2007, Ambassador Potter was Head of Russia Team and then, prior to his posting as Director of Trade and Investment in Moscow from 2010-2013, he was ESPN Communications Director for Europe, Middle East, Africa, Asia and Pacific for 3 years (2007-2010).  

Ambassador Potter holds a Masters degree in 20th Century History and a BA Honours in History and French from the University of Warwick. 


Alberto Alemán, Director, PROINVEX

Alberto A. Alemán is the Director of PROINVEX. Prior to this role, he has held roles as Manager of Business Development in London and Regional Panama and Master Developer of Panama Pacifico. Mr Alemán was also a political advisor of the Mission of the Republic of Panama to the United Nations.

He is a representative in the Second Committee of the General Assembly of Economic and Financial Affairs. He studied telecommunications and media at Texas A&M University.

Gilberto Ferrari, General Manager, Empresa de Transmisión Eléctrica S.A.

Gilberto Ferrari Pedreschi is General Manager for of Empresa de Transmisión Eléctrica S.A. (ETESA).

Mr Ferrari Pedreschi is an Industrial Engineer and holds a Master's Degree in Business Administration with an emphasis in Finance. He is a graduate of the Latin American University of Science and Technology.He has extensive experience in both the public and private sectors, in strategic planning and development of projects in the electricity sector.

He has been General Manager of Panama Power Holdings, Inc. from 2008 to 2017 where he was responsible for the development and management of several hydroelectric plants and assets for more than B / .400 million.

In 2005 until 2008, he was General Manager of the Panama-Pacific Special Economic Area Agency, an autonomous entity of the Government, where he promoted and initiated the development of a successful multinational corporation and a new residential city with the highest Levels of transparency and efficiency for investors.

He has held various positions, among which we can highlight: Director of Regulatory Affairs, Business Development Analyst, Operations Manager, Price Manager, Strategic Planning Manager, Production and Maintenance Manager and Product Manager.

He has also held managerial positions at Telefónica Móviles Panamá, S.A., BellSouth Panama, S.A., Everfit Industries and Bonlac, among other companies.

Ian Livingstone, Executive Chairman, London & Regional Properties



Fabio Landazabal, Senior Vice President & Head of Emerging Markets, GSK

Fabio Landazabal leads GSK’s Emerging Markets region – the company’s third largest business unit by sales and most diverse, extending across Latin America, the Middle East, CIS, Africa and Asia with headquarters in GSK’s Asia House in Singapore.

Mr  Landazabal graduated as a medical doctor and pursued further studies in marketing, leadership and strategy in his home country of Colombia and at Harvard Business School, USA. He has more than 18 years of experience in progressively senior roles, leading GSK pharmaceuticals operations in Asia, Oceania, Europe, Latin America, Africa and the Middle East.

Mr  Landazabal has held leadership roles in industry associations including Vice President of the Senior Executive Committee (Asia Pacific) for PhRMA and Secretary of the Pharmaceutical Chamber in Argentina. He was a Board Member of the Initiative to Improve Health in Asia, NIHA. He is a regular speaker at industry events including the BIO Convention.

In academia, Mr  Landazabal has collaborated with universities including SMU and the NUS

In 2014 he was awarded by the president of Columbia as one of the top 100 Colombians living abroad.


Nick Panes, Senior Partner, Control Risks

Nick Panes serves as a Senior Partner for Control Risks’ and leads the Global Risk Analysis department for Europe and Africa. Previous to this, Mr Panes was based in Mexico and was responsible for the Global Client Services department for Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean. In this role he worked with clients in the development and implementation of risk management solutions, with a particular emphasis on the design of regulatory and anti-corruption compliance systems.

His recent projects include:

·         Designing and implementing pre-transaction due diligence and anti-corruption risk assessment tools as part of an assessment of a company’s compliance system. The project focused on ensuring efficient internal systems and compliance with domestic and international anti-corruption legislation.

·         Strategic business intelligence and stakeholder mapping for an infrastructure project in Mexico, providing a comprehensive threat and security analysis of the potential operating environment and a map of the key project stakeholders and their potential impact on the project.

·         A fraud and corruption risk assessment for an international healthcare firm, including an FCPA compliance audit of its India operations.

·         An anti-money laundering audit of a client’s banking and exchange house operations to ensure compliance with relevant national financial authorities’ statutory requirements.

Since joining Control Risks in January 2001, Mr Panes has focused on corporate investigations and political and security risk analysis. Mr Panes previously led the India and South Asia corporate investigations practice out of the New Delhi office, worked as a senior consultant in the Sydney office, and was responsible for analyzing political and security developments in Latin America as a senior Americas analyst.

Mr Panes has a Master’s of Arts degree in Latin American Politics from the Institute of Latin American Studies, London. He has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Geography and Politics from the University of Edinburgh. Mr Panes is a Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialist (CAMS) and also completed the Investigators’ Course run by the Centre for Investigative Studies & Crime Reduction at Charles Sturt University. Mr Panes speaks fluent Spanish and is proficient in French and Portuguese.

Neil Perry, CFO, Solarcentury

Neil Perry is Chief Financial Officer at Solarcentury. Mr Perry has been in this role for over 16 years. Previously, he was Director of No.1 rated Latin American equity research team at ING Barings and CEO ING Barings Argentina, with 7 years’ experience as a Portfolio manager covering Europe and Japan.


Roger Savage, Client Director, Cities and International Development, Atkins Global

Roger Savage is the client director of Cities and International Development at Atkins Global. He has a background in urban planning in the UK and internationally, with experience embracing all aspects of the development and management of cities. He is currently helping to lead Atkins’s work on Liveable Cities, including managing a number of projects on low carbon cities in India and internationally.


Kristina Lund, CFO - Strategic Business Unit for Europe and Asia, The AES Corporation

Kristina Lund is the Chief Financial Officer of the Eurasia Strategic Business Unit, covering AES’ businesses from Vietnam to the United Kingdom. Prior to joining the Eurasia business unit, she served as the Vice President of the Corporate Strategy and Investment group. In this role, she facilitated AES’ Investment Committee, which reviews and approves AES’ investments in its global portfolio. Ms. Lund joined AES in 2006 and has served in several groups in the Company’s finance organization, including mergers and acquisitions, investor relations and financial planning and analysis.
Ms. Lund has a Master of Business Administration degree (with Distinction) from Harvard Business School and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics (cum laude) from Wellesley College.


Bernard Molloy, Global industrial Logistics Director, Unipart Logistics

Bernard Molloy has over 40-years’ experience of managing and strategically advising companies in the warehousing, logistics and materials handling industries.

A Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport and a strategic advisor to leading blue chip companies in supply chain and logistics, he has been responsible for numerous developments of national distribution centres and resolving supply chain issues particularly in manufacturing.

Mr Molloy trained as a mechanical engineer and was general manager with BT Rolatruc (now Toyota Industrial) from 1969 to 1996, responsible for all automated solutions including Perkins Engines, Rolls-Royce and other complex systems. 

In 1986 he became managing director of Hako Machines UK and was responsible for the design and development of a new product range which has grown to 30% of the total group turnover. 

He became joint group managing of Lansing Linde in 1999 and increase market share from 19.5% to 33% over five years with a similar increase in production and he has been a strategic advisor to JCB Industrial, Link 51, Psion, NYK Logistics and Red Prairie. 

In 1999 Mr Molloy took over as managing director of HOPPECKE Industrial Batteries installing new production facilities and service systems that have dramatically transformed the company’s fortunes. 

In January 2011, be became Global Director of Unipart Industrial Logistics. In September 2012 he was appointed to the board of Liverpool SuperPort and recently became chairman. 

Mr Molloy has been chairman of the CILT Warehouse and Materials Handling Forum for many years, is a board Member of German British Forum, a Freeman of the City of London as well as a business adviser to Coventry Rugby Club and a member of the London 2012 Olympics Games Maker Team and an advanced water skiing instructor.

Sabrina Diamante, Regional Sales Manager, Copa Airlines

Sabrina Diamante is the Regional Sales Manager for Copa Airlines. Ms Diamante started working in the airline Industry 13 years ago for Aerolineas Argentinas, when she was living in Argentina. During this experience she built up her knowledge about almost all the different activities of an airline business, as she started from the airport based checking in operations, to end up in the marketing and sales department in the head office, where she was working in close contact with top senior management.

Ms Diamante joined Discover in 2014 and now is leading the UK airline team, managing four representing offices for different Airlines. She has recently been appointed also as EMEA Sales Regional Manager for Copa Airlines, Aerolineas Argentinas and Binter Canarias.



Jacopo Dettoni, Deputy Editor, FDi Magazine – Financial Times

Jacopo Dettoni is a deputy editor with fDi Magazine, the foreign investment monitor of the FT Group. In his role he contributes to the title's print and online platforms, with a particular emphasis on the development of multimedia content and on-the-ground reporting.

Mr Dettoni lived and reported from some of the fastest-changing economies across the globe, particularly in Latin America and Asia. He is a frequent participant at events focusing on business and investment-related topics, where he regularly chairs sessions and moderates panel discussions.

John Manners-Bell, CEO, Transport Intelligence

John Manners-Bell is the CEO of Transport Intelligence. He has been active in the transport and logistics industry for more than 25 years. Mr Manners -Bell founded Transport Intelligence in 2002, a research organisation dedicated to the delivery of knowledge to the logistics and supply chain industries and since its early days it has identified, forecast and analysed the transformation of the industry.

For two years from 2008, Mr Manners Bell combined running Transport Intelligence with a role as Special Adviser to Robert Goodwill MP, Conservative Shadow Transport Minister. Prior to setting up Transport Intelligence, Mr Manners-Bell worked as the European marketing manager for UPS Worldwide Logistics.

Mr Manners-Bell is presently Chair of the Logistics and Supply Chain Global Agenda Council of the World Economic Forum, attending its summits in Europe, Africa and Asia. He advises on diverse issues in the industry such as facilitation of trade, supply chain risk, talent and intellectual capital as well as the role of logistics in reducing post-harvest food losses.

Mr Manners-Bell studied at King’s College London. He has had a number of books published under the titles: ‘Global Logistics Strategies: Delivering the Goods’, ‘Global Supply Chain Risk’ and ‘Emerging Logistics Markets’


Chris Bennett, Managing Director, The Caribbean Council

Chris Bennett took on the leadership of the Caribbean Council in 2015 after working for many years for the organisation as its Trade Policy Director. Mr Bennett has worked with international investors and business advising them on the Caribbean region for over a decade, as well as supporting Caribbean Governments and the private sector on trade policy issues in London, Brussels and Geneva. He has provided Europe-wide public affairs and trade policy advice to some of the largest corporations and business groups in the Caribbean and Central America, primarily on trade and regulatory issues affecting the spirits, tourism and financial services industries.   Chris was responsible for expanding the Council’s remit into Central America for the first time and for delivering the major part of the Council’s Cuba and Dominican Republic active trade programme over the past 12 years.

Mr Bennett is an Advisory Trustee of the Caribbean Central American Action in Washington DC and a Member of the Advisory Board of Directors, Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association. Before working at the Caribbean Council, Mr Bennett worked at the European Commission in Brussels and worked for five years on UK and European policy issues for a major manufacturing industry trade body based in London. He also worked in Parliament as a researcher for Rt Hon Hilary Benn MP. A fluent Spanish, Italian and French speaker, Chris is a graduate of the London School of Economics and University College London.

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