Hundreds of local business representatives and business owners got the chance to hear from the President of Florida's Great Northwest, Don Kirkman.
Kirkman says Northwest Florida's geographic location uniquely positions the area for export, not just through its ports, but domestic exports. The Florida panhandle allows transporters to reach most of the Southeast region within a day's travel.
Kirkman also mentions how Bay County has the necessary infrastructure in place to make it a key competitor to manufacturing, and building industrial parks with the land in the West Bay area. He cites the railroad network, the new airport and the success of the deep water port at Port Panama City as a means of growth.
Kirkman says the expansion of the Panama Canal in Central America can have a positive impact on Port Panama City because larger vessels would be more likely to utilize the larger ports with a range deeper than 50 feet. Meanwhile smaller to medium-sized vessels would opt for ports like Port Panama city that can better accommodate them, resulting in more business locally.
"As this region grows with manufacturing and distribution, I think alot of the product here can be used for export and Panama City is well positioned to take advantage of that" said Don Kirkman, Florida's Great Northwest President.