Panama Hopes to Establish First South American Diamond Club

A group in Panama hopes to set up Latin America's first fully functioning diamond exchange. The proposed Panama Diamond Exchange would be based in Panama City, the country's capital, and function as a gateway to the Latin American market, according to president and chief executive officer Charles Garavitt. Garavitt said the Panamanian government is declaring the exchange a tax-free zone for 25 years. “You can bring and sell goods, free of tax,” he said. “This is the first time in the history of Panama the government has authorized a tax-free zone in the center of the capital.” He noted that many Latin American diamond dealers used to do business with the Miami bourse, but that is harder now that U.S. officials have tightened up on visas. “The potential of the Latin American industry has never really been explored,” he added, noting it has 700 million consumers and 11,00

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