Published 04/06/16

Guest speaker describes business in Panama

Guillermo Quijano's program, “The Role of Panama in the Global Economy,” was sponsored by the International Business and Global Supply Chain Management student organizations.

Panamanian banker and entrepreneur shares business insight

Guillermo Quijano, P ’18, vice president of UNESA and president and founder of Clandestine Brewery, took a standing-room only audience in the Stepan Grand Hall of the George E. Bello Center for Information and Technology on a journey through several centuries and 4,698 miles to Panama. The country, whose economy is based on trade, banking, and tourism, is one of a few nations whose balance of trade favors the United States, he noted during his talk, “The Role of Panama in the Global Economy.”

An example of the ways Bryant internationalizes the campus experience, Quijano’s program was sponsored by the International Business and Global Supply Chain Management student organizations. It’s just one of the ways he engages with Bryant. He is also working with Associate Professor of Finance Andres Ramirez, Ph.D., to establish new internship opportunities for IB students with businesses in Panama City.

Delighted with the educational experience of his son Guillermo Quijano De Ycaza, a member of Bryant’s Class of 2018, he and his family have also generously engaged with prospective students, parents, faculty, and alumni.

Quijano hopes more people – beyond the nearly 50 Bryant MBA students participating in the University’s Global Immersion Experience (GIE) program he and his wife, Mariela D. de Ycaza de Quijano hosted at their Panamanian home in January – will discover Panama, a nation he holds dear.

While acknowledging that governmental corruption and the country’s educational system must be addressed, he remains optimistic about Panama’s role in the global marketplace. The country's international economy, with many commercial and trade agreements, is thriving, he told the crowd. He also touted Panama's ideal strategic location. “It is smack in the middle of the Americas and it unites the Pacific and Atlantic oceans” with the Panama Canal

Quijano, who is also director of the Bank of Panama and of Panamanian Products, told the students that with 91 banks for four million people and a stable currency, many South Americans put their savings in Panamanian banks. A unique tax structure – no death tax, no capital gains tax on certain gains, no income tax on outside income and a 7 percent value added tax – and low inflation, interest rates and unemployment allow the economy to continue to grow.