Panama 2018 | INDUSTRY | COLUMN

TBY talks to Eduardo Sequera, General Manager of Endress + Hauser, on the industry sector.

How was 2017 for the company?

The situation in the region was not the best for us due to economic and political issues that affected our businesses in Brazil, Argentina, Chile, and Mexico. We were extremely close to our targets last year, though at the end of the day 2017 was not the best year. One particularly tough situation was the price of oil, as well as lower investment in the oil and gas industry, which hit our results last year. We expect a recovery at the start of 2018 as new projects come in. 2018 could still rally on the back of the results from mining and cement, rise in commodity prices, and several companies deciding to reinvest.

Which sectors in Panama are your main targets?

Our biggest market is food and beverage, which includes breweries, dairy products, soft drinks, flour, vegetable oil, palm oil, and sugar plants. In Central America, the sugar industry is one of our largest industries, and Guatemala is the second biggest producer of sugar in the region behind Brazil. The food and beverage industry was great for us in 2017. We have made changes to boost our representation in the food and beverage sector in certain countries.