Navy League Dinner and Talk with Reynald Katz
Panama International Merchandise Mart
Tuesday, 8th of July
City Club, Panama
The Panama International Merchandise Mart (PIMM) is the brainchild of Reynald Katz and born out of not wanting to join the long line waiting for space in the Colon Free Zone. Many others are thinking the same thing as Phase One sold out in three months.
Born in France, Mr. Katz has worked in Europe, the Middle East, China and the US. He first came to Panama in the 1970s, but only in 2001 decided to settle here and do business.
Katz showed entrepreneurial flair early on. At 19, he helped develop an anti-cracking nail polish which soon accounted for 80% of market share worldwide. ICI later bought the business for $8 million. He then headed to Italy to manufacture lipsticks for Europe and, increasingly, the Middle East. Seizing the chance to explore virgin territory, he moved to the region and made cosmetics there before moving to the US.
Katz arrived in Miami in the 1980s and set up a company making budget perfumes, selling out to a US manufacturer in 1996. Meanwhile, he had been approached by the US government about using his knowledge to develop shopping malls in China.
Advising the Chinese government, Katz created a model for cosmetic retailing used nationwide and acted as a liaison for US manufacturers. He then returned to the US in 1988, in time for the Internet boom, and developed an online duty-free e-commerce business. After the dotcom crash, Katz came to Panama. His first venture here was a liquor distribution company in the Colon Free Zone serving Latin American markets.
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