A SpeciAl internAtionAl report prepAred by The Washington Times AdvertiSing depArtment

page  / Tuesday, DECEmbEr 18, 2007

Panama International Merchandise Mart promises to be a global commercial city – the PIMM City
Identifying a business opportunity and seizing the moment to make billions of dollars is the concept that drove Reynald Henry Katz to create reportedly the largest merchandise mart in the world, the only one of its kind in Latin America and the Caribbean. Investors looking for a safe place to invest their money with fast returns, manufacturers looking for an easy penetration into the Latin market and companies seeking trading partnerships project will cost an estimated $1 billion. “PIMM will trade an estimated $35 billion a year. The cost of a showroom starts at $125,000 and each showroom is estimated to have an annual return on investment of $2 million per showroom,” said Katz. “This will be a city of commerce. The PIMM city will have all the facilities that a commercial city needs. There will be three-, four-, and five-star international hotels, 10 local and international
“The commercial city of PIMM promises its clients a world-class trading center. Its geographic positioning close to the Panama Canal and the Colon Free Zone, the innovative business concept and the great talent of my employees, partners, bankers and investors will make the PIMM the merchandise mart success of the century, entering the history of Panama and Latin America and with its global expansion – the world!” Reynald Henry Katz, founder and CEO.

Panama is the ideal location for PIMM
“Why do we believe that there is no better place to locate a merchandise mart of this size?” asks Reynald Henry Katz.
In addition to its strategic geographic location, the presence of the Panama Canal and the Colon Free Zone, the United States dollar is the legal tender in Panama. “Panama is a dollar-based economy. There are no visa restrictions, no quotas on textile trade, no taxes on profits and Panama has friendly custom laws. “This country has the unique advantage of not being in the path of hurricanes nor is it prone to earthquakes. It is always summer in Panama. Soft daily rainfall maintains green landscapes and keeps the locks in the Panama Canal supplied with enough water that allows for 24-hour operation – a continuous passage of ships soon to include post-Panamax ships,” said Katz. “In a comparison of the ease at which business is conducted, the World Bank rated Panama as the topmost country in Latin America,” Katz indicated. “There is no doubt that Panama is the best logistics hub in Latin America and the Caribbean. Also, as there are no taxes on profits, no import duties for merchandise in transit and no income tax, it will be a tax haven for showroom owners at the Panama International Merchandise Mart,” said Katz. “The people speak English as a second language; it is easy to do business when the people are as friendly and helpful as the Panamanians.”

that this was an opportunity to create additional showrooms – there was a ready market just waiting to be tapped!

difficulties as commuters compete with the 3,000 container trucks making their daily runs. A helipad is also

The PIMM commercial city will have 6800 showrooms in the 34 buildings on 530 hectares of land. Manufacturers from all over the world will showcase their products for local and international wholesale buyers to access.

are expected to converge on the Panama International Merchandise Mart (PIMM). Katz declared, “The PIMM will be more like a commercial city involving an estimated 566 million Latin American consumers, international manufacturers and worldwide investors. “There will be 6,800 showrooms in the 34 buildings on the 530 hectares (1,302 acres) of land close to the second largest free zone in the world – the Colon Free Zone – benefiting from the most efficient logistics center in Latin America. Manufacturers from all over the world can showcase their products permanently here where local and international wholesale buyers, especially Latin American businesses, can place their order at PIMM without entering the United States of America or the home ports of manufacturers.” In PIMM city, Panama, the vision is to have exclusive country pavilions whose manufacturers and businesses can showcase their products. “Embassies have expressed the interest to have countryspecific pavilions. We are looking forward to having a global commercial city right here in Panama where the whole of Latin America can trade with commercial world leaders without leaving their continent!” Katz is on the verge of realizing this dream as construction starts in January 2008 with a completion date projected for 2009. This

restaurants, 10 fast-food, police and fire stations, medical centers, parking for 5,000 cars, 1,000 office spaces in 10 office buildings, 200 public rest rooms, electrical

In PIMM city, Panama, the vision is to have exclusive country pavilions whose manufacturers and businesses can showcase their products.
power plants, wireless Internet services, recreational centers and condominium buildings, just to mention a few of the facilities,” Katz said. He has sold over 800 showrooms and has already made plans to expand into France where his son, Kevin, was born and now lives. The French PIMM will be established and operated by Kevin. In addition, plans are already afoot to establish another PIMM in New Jersey. The long-term plan includes building similar commercial cities at an estimated $1 billion in South Africa, Russia, Vietnam, India, China, Malaysia, Australia, Belgium, the United States of America, Brazil and Mexico. Reflecting on the first time the idea of PIMM was conceived, Reynald Katz recalls his experience while trying to rent a showroom at the Colon Free Zone. “They told me there were 2,500 companies vying for the single and only available showroom, and the best bid will win! That is when I decided

“The companies on the waiting list would have their space, I would have a new business, the Colon Free Zone would be serving an even larger clientele and everyone would make millions!”

planned to provide additional transportation options. “PIMM will have fully equipped fire stations, a security force and a medical center. There will also be a helipad for easy access to the Tocumen

MAP of Panama showing location of PIMM Panama is strategically located between North and South America. “It is the ‘Cross Roads’ of the western hemisphere. American, European and other international and Panamanian airlines have daily flights to major cites in the United States, in Central and South America, the Caribbean and parts of Europe,” Katz explained. Panama is only 50 miles wide and links both the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans. The site of the PIMM city is 18 miles from Panama City and 18 miles from Colon Free Zone. It is almost midway between the Pacific and the Atlantic Ocean and close to the shipping ports and logistics services of Colon. Located close to Lake Gatun and with ready access to tour facilities, the PIMM city also offers opportunities for eco-tourism in Panama’s rain forest. “The site for the PIMM commercial city is also not far from the Tocumen International Airport. We will operate a fleet of 20 buses to shuttle people to and from this airport. There will also be golf-cart shuttle services from the 5,000-car parking lot to different parts of the PIMM city” explained Katz. There is no specific legal statute on foreign investment in Panama. National and foreign investors are treated equally under the general legal regime. According to Panama’s constitution, both are treated as nationals, although, special conditions apply to certain activities that foreigners may engage due to considerations of health, morality, and public safety.

Reynald Henry Katz, founder and CEO of Panama International Merchandise Mart.

The site for PIMM is between the Colon Free Zone and Panama’s Tocumen International Airport. Access roads are being built to link to a new freeway which is planned to alleviate the current traffic

International Airport. Miami is only two-and-a-half hours away with daily international flights,” said Katz.

Katz builds the PIMM in the shape of a butterfly
antennae, while the buildings housing the showrooms spaced at 50-meters (55 yards) apart will form the outline of the wings. Wide roads divide and link all sections. Lakes, the convention center and the openair exhibition center form the “beauty spots” on the wings. The local and international restaurants will form the body with the control center at the tip of the butterfly’s tail. Keeping the shape of the butterfly throughout the construction will be a challenge. Katz is already thinking about expanding the number of showrooms to meet increasing demands. “The price for each showroom starts at $125,000 and every day there are five to seven new clients wishing to purchase showrooms in PIMM,” said Katz. When asked if the lakes will survive the demand for showrooms as construction adapts to increasing needs. Katz gave the assurance that sustainable development is the hallmark of construction and real estate development in Panama that his company intends to respect. “We believe in letting nature and businesses co-exist. We will maintain most of our design in an effort to offer our customers the natural atmosphere of trees and water. We may reduce the size of the lakes to include more buildings or to increase the size of buildings, but the lakes will remain on the wings of the butterfly, lending their natural beauty to the surroundings.” Mr. Katz indicated that all buildings would be constructed with “the safety regulated distances” between them. The fire stations and police force will also be fully equipped with state of the art technology. The same is true for the medical center. “There will also be a helipad for easy access to the best hospitals in Panama City and the international airport. Miami is only two- and-ahalf hours away with daily international flights. We have identified the possible needs of our clients and are putting systems in place to meet those needs,” reiterated Katz.

Kevin Katz share a moment with his father, Reynald Katz. Kevin is spearheading the establishment of PIMM’s operations in France.

A section of the layout of the commercial city showing the placement of two of the international hotels, office buildings, showrooms, and the parking lot designed for 5000 cars.

Project Highlights
• Total investment - $1 billion (est.) • Annual ROI /showroom: $2 million (Total PIMM trade: $35 billion/year) • Market: Over 566 million consumers from Latin America/Caribbean • Total number of showrooms: 6,800 • Completion date: 2009 • Cost for purchase of one showroom: Starts at $125,000 (financing available). • Income tax: 0 percent • Location: Colon Province, close to the Colon Free Zone and the Panama Canal.

The design of this commercial city flows into a butterfly form. “The PIMM ‘Butterfly’ will be famous, just like the ‘Dubai Palm’ already is,” said Reynald Henry Katz. Butterflies have always fascinated Reynald Henry Katz, even as a boy in France. His crayon drawings of butterflies still adorn his family home. “PIMM being developed in the form of a butterfly is appropriate, for Panama is the home of a large number of species of butterflies,” said Katz. The name Panama is a Carib Indian word meaning “abundance of butterflies.” The PIMM commercial city will be built on 530 hectares (1302 acres) of land bordered with tropical rainforest.

“PIMM will boast a 10, 000 seat convention center and an open-air exhibition center, 34 buildings, a parking lot

The PIMM commercial city will be constructed in the form of a butterfly.

designed to hold 5,000 cars, four top class hotels and more,” said Katz. It will have 10-meter wide streets with separate entry and exit roads. The layout of the PIMM site creates the shape of a butterfly. The four hotels form the

Reynald Henry Katz shares a wax crayon drawing of a butterfly which he drew as a child in France.

page  / Tuesday, DECEmbEr 18, 2007

A SpeciAl internAtionAl report prepAred by The Washington Times AdvertiSing depArtment

What has prepared Reynald Henry Katz to meet the challenges of a worldwide commercial chain of merchandise marts?
During the 1990s, Katz was the senior advisor to the Chinese Ministry of Internal Trade. In Beijing, China, he established “high-end sourcing and retailing operations in 14 of the largest cities and 128 department stores employing over 240,000 persons and occupying 1 million square feet,” said Katz. Katz has successfully managed and operated several businesses over the years. From jewelry to liquor – Katz has seized business opportunities in several countries such as France, England, United States, Suriname, Curacao and Columbia, to mention a few. He came to Panama in 2001. In Panama, Katz established and runs several successful businesses even as he pursues the establishment of PIMM as well as elsewhere in the world. In the Colon Free Zone, he owns liquor bottling plant, distribution center and showroom, a transshipment center and a shipping company in Panama. “I make budget priced-whisky – several brands of its unique Panamanian whisky; I have a transshipment packing business in the Colon Free Zone; and a successful shipping business here in Panama.” ‘What boyhood experiences prepared Katz for a world of commerce? Reynald Henry Katz was an energetic schoolboy. “As a boy growing up in France, The senior Katz is proud of the help his son will be giving to Panamanians. “My son, Reynald Henry Katz, will create 31, 000 jobs, contributing over $441 million to the economy of Panama, making so many Panamanians families happy and prosperous that he will become a legend in Panama. His main focus is always getting every job done just right. It was never about money. He never though about how much money will

Ugo Katz and son Reynald Henry Katz speak of the life they shared in France.

I was always curious to know more and asked questions all the time. I made my teachers very busy, but they were good to me. I had good teachers. I learned mathematics my own way, I had my own style that worked for me, I became very good at numbers.” Katz has been calculating the returns on investment ever since. As a 15-year-old teenager Katz sold his own handmade jewelry making over $30, 000 a year. By the age of 18, he had made over $100, 000. This he invested at the age of 19, in a cosmetics company based in England, selling it four years later for $8 million. By 21, Reynald Henry Katz was manufacturing 12 brands of lipsticks in Italy. At 24, Katz was the head

Reynald Henry Katz’s home in Avignon, France.

cosmetic buyer for a Middle Eastern country and moved to Miami when he was 30 and opened a budget price perfume company. This he successfully sold in 1996. Now Katz is manufacturing his own brands of whisky made in Panama – John Bow, Magic, Sir Edwin’s, Golden Dollar, and Black King – exporting to Colombia and controlling 16 percent of that liquor market. Katz was born in 1955 in Avignon, France. He holds dual citizenship in both France and the United States. He completed high school and post-secondary education in Montpellier, France. He recalls significant influences on his business skills: “I spent my young adult years in France and spent every summer at summer camp in California. The major influence on my career was my father working constantly to distribute his own brand of shampoos.” His best friend’s father ran an insurance company in San Francisco and young Katz was tremendously impressed by the many businesses that had to be insured. Cargo insurance was particularly enlightening. “I studied everything I could and followed the big companies’

trading policies and practices. Soon I started in the trading business myself,” said Katz. Reynald Katz’s father, Italian-born Ugo Katz, expressed his pleasure in the achievement of his son over the years and especially in this new endeavor. The senior Katz says that the success of his son was due to the personality traits he possessed even as a child. “His perseverance and vision have guided him to acquire whatever he sets his mind to do. He has always been creative. As a child he made a

cable car to travel to the top of the cliff close to our home. My son is a hard worker, he never stops, he continues until he succeeds in whatever he sets out to do, just the way he had envisaged,” said Ugo Katz. Ugo Katz describes his son’s childhood: “As a child in France, Reynald was always playing among the shepherds in the valley near our home, sharing his sandwiches with the shepherds and bringing them water. He even learned their unique language they called Provencal.”

City where Reynald Henry Katz was born and spent his early days. Avignon, France.

be made. Doing the job right is the important thing!” The senior Katz added that this quality trait in his son is what brings him success, “He is always working to make things happen just the way he wants them to happen.”

The high rises in Panama City are indicative of Panama’s economic growth in the construction and real estate sectors, the banking sector, and the maritime logistics sector.

From youthful entrepreneur to global businessman
involved more in the family business, he started to work with me from the time he was 18 years,” he said. “I made him the manager for my nail polish filling plant. By the time he was 19 years old, he and I had a difference of opinion and he decided to build his own business.” Today, Reynald says, he and his father are best friends. At the age of 19, Katz started his own business in London According to Reynald, after the fall-out with his father, he left his father’s business and flew to London to meet a nail polish chemist who had discovered a new anticracking nail polish formula. “In those years, nail polish used to crack the day after application,” Reynald Katz said. “This new formula was a revolutionary invention in the cosmetics industry. The English chemist and I became partners. I put all my money in the business and took care of the marketing aspect while the chemist managed the production aspects.” Like a true entrepreneur, young Katz recognized and seized a golden opportunity. “I discovered that, at that time, the English government was giving grants to companies hiring employees from outer London, if they established plants 300 km outside the City. I applied for this grant and got the funds to build this new plant for research and development of cosmetics. “I was 19 when I was awarded the US$1,000,000 grant in London and was able to get the manufacturing facility free of charge. In two years, I was able to conquer 80 percent of the worldwide nail polish market, and two years later my main vendor, Imperial Chemistry Industry, (ICI) bought the business for US$8,000,000. My partner and I received US$4,000,000 each. It was a great opportunity and I grasped it.” While Reynald Katz was marketing his products, he was traveling the world. Traveling through South America and Central America he fell in love with Panama, yet left and went back to France. “At that time I was living life in the fast lane. Returning to Paris I bought everything my heart desired from a multimillion dollar house, to several sports cars.” Even though the young Katz was thought to be a shrewd businessman, it never occurred to him that he was supposed to pay taxes in France. “The tax bill came after I had bought my cars and houses, and I had to sell most of it to pay my tax bills plus the inevitable fines.” Katz said that his experience with the revenue department of France made him return to business. “I went to Italy to open a cosmetics business, this time it was the manufacturing of lipsticks. I developed a way to sell the cheapest lipstick on the market. I did the manufacturing of the product, the raw material, and the marketing, and still got the cheapest product on the market. “I was the pioneer in the field of offering a cheap, attractive quality cosmetic product in Europe. At that time, China was not manufacturing cheap cosmetics so I filled the gap. My export markets also included the Middle Eastern countries. Katz added the Middle East to his cosmetics market “I soon discovered that the Middle East was a virgin cosmetics market, ready for conquering. It was relatively easy for me because I could learn their language easily. I was fluent in Italian, English, and French. I soon learnt Arabic, Spanish, and Chinese.” Katz lived for six years in the Middle East developing this market. “I became the Cosmetic Head Buyer for one of the governments in the region,” he said. “I was in the Middle East during the Iraq-Iran war. I was at the hotel when the first bombings arrived and this became the reason I left the region.” America’s perfume industry attracted Katz Katz discovered that there was a boom in the perfume industry in the United States in 1986. “All the main brands were establishing themselves in the perfume business,” he noted. “Every day there was a new brand of perfume, so I went to check this emerging market. I soon discovered that there was a need of a budget, attractive, quality fragrance. So I created my own line of budget priced perfumes. I installed my plant in the City of Miami.” By 1996, Katz had successfully established his products and sold his plant to a major American company. Katz lived for six years in China “While I lived in Miami, I was approached by the US on special request from the Chinese to develop the perfume area for the new concept of malls the Chinese government was expanding,” he explained. “I had just sold my plant, so I thought it could be a good opportunity to learn about business in China.” “This was the time I was appointed as the senior advisor for the Ministry of Internal Trade Cosmetic Division, linking China with American cosmetics manufacturers.” After living in China for six years, Katz returned to Miami in 1998. Katz developed Internet duty-free e-commerce “I was amazed by the potential of the Internet business and the magnitude of the new market the Internet was creating. I developed the first Internet duty-free e-commerce business, and I was invited to the Cannes Duty Free Show as a speaker to present my new concept of selling dutyfree goods over the Internet. This was a proud moment. I received a standing ovation in front of 3,000 people. “However, it was a sad moment for me when I was about to go public, and the Internet ecommerce business crashed. The public offering had to be withdrawn and the project was cancelled,” said Katz. After Internet ecommerce business crashed, Katz moved to Panama As part of global sourcing, Katz had discovered the geopolitical advantages of Panama. So not to be put down by the Internet crash, he moved to Panama. “I decided to move to Panama. This has been my dream since 1974 when I was 19 years old. I purchased a distribution liquor company at the Colon Free Zone. It was then that I began to work in Latin American markets such as Colombia, Ecuador, Nicaragua, etc.

Reynald Katz as a child in France

Reynald Katz’s father, Ugo, was born in Italy and moved to France where he married Ruth, a holocaust survivor and Reynald’s mother. Ugo has been in the perfume and cosmetic industry since Reynald’s early childhood. It was in his father’s cosmetics plant that Reynald learned the business of manufacturing cosmetics, including lipstick, nail polish, make-up, and perfume. The young Katz attended the Jesuite College, Saint Joseph of Avignon, in France. There, Reynald earned the highest grades according to his father. “He made me proud, earning all ‘A’s. It was in school that Reynald showed his business acumen. He developed a hunger for clinching a deal, he always managed to sell something to someone in school,” he said. During the Avignon Festival in France, Reynald had a booth where he displayed and sold his own hand-made artisan jewelry. “After a few years of selling his own handmade jewelry, Reynald had amassed US$100,000,” Ugo Katz stated. “Craving a need to be

“Here, I again realized there was a need for a budgetpriced product, this time liquor brands, and so I started to produce my own brands in Panama. Today, I hold 16% of the entire Colombian market.” It was when Katz decided to look for a showroom for his different brands of liquor at the Colon Free Zone, that he discovered there were 2,500 other companies waiting for the only two available. Katz seized the opportunity, researched the options, and laid the groundwork for the creation of the Panama International Merchandise Mart (PIMM) with its 6800 showrooms, a convention center, hotels, and more. The PIMM city was born.

A SpeciAl internAtionAl report prepAred by The Washington Times AdvertiSing depArtment

page  / Tuesday, DECEmbEr 18, 2007

Spain’s H.Top Hotels and Resorts Group invests in five-star hotel in the PIMM city
Top officials of the H.Top Hotels and Resorts Group of Catalonia, Spain, have pledged to invest $50 million in a five-star hotel to be constructed by PIMM, with the completion date expected to be 2010. This 300-room hotel will be equipped and operated by the Spanish company. Visiting the location for the commercial city of PIMM, H. Top Hotel executives examined how their hotel will fit into the PIMM Butterfly. This five-star hotel will be located at the top of the butterfly holding the position as one of its antennae. Giving full responsibility for its construction to Reynald Katz, the Director General of the International Division of the H.Top Hotels and Resorts Group, José Caselles Pomares, expressed confidence that this hotel will be the best hotel in PIMM city. Katz said that he is honored by the confidence placed in his ability to achieve the construction standards of the five-star hotel and is sure that H.Top Hotels and Resorts will be satisfied by the work of the Panamanian contractors. H.Top Hotels and Resorts is group of Spanish hotels famous for providing first-class services that is uniquely Spanish yet meets needs of a global clientele. The PIMM signature is soon to become a familiar sight in Panama Director General Pomares indicates that this expansion casinos, convention and exhibition currently underway, and an Initial into Panama signals the beginning centers. Reynald reiterated that there Placement Offering will commence of a long fruitful relationship with is no tax from profits in Panama and in 2009. “A private placement is also Panama, the Panama International the PIMM is estimated to involve currently underway and an IPO is Merchandise Mart and with Reynald over 566 million consumers of Latin scheduled for 2009,” reiterated Katz. Henry Katz himself. America and the Caribbean. “We still have more showrooms Other investment opportunities Speaking about trading on the for rent or purchase. The price for a in PIMM Panama Stock Exchange, Katz showroom starts from as low as $125, In addition to opportunities in the indicates that a hotel sector of PIMM, investment private placement opportunities exist in offering is concessions for restaurants,

000,” said Katz who indicated that financing is available. Manufacturers can purchase or rent showrooms, entire pavilions, offices and condominiums. Katz also pointed out that the ROI per showroom is estimated to be over $2 million.

Panama City is considered a world-class logistics center. Manufacturers and wholesalers investing in PIMM will benefit from the many logistics services offered here.

Visiting the location for the commercial city of PIMM, H-Top Hotel executives examined how their hotel will fit into the PIMM Butterfly. Reynald Katz, founder and CEO of Panama International Merchandise Mart (PIMM) and Jose Caselles Pomares, Director General of the International Division of the H.Top Hotels and Resorts finalized the deal.

Investment Opportunities
Private Placement is currently in the planning phase. Initial Public Offering (IPO) 2009

Concessions available for:
• Hotels & Restaurants • Casino • Convention Center • Exhibition Center

Purchasing opportunities:
• Showrooms • Offices • Condominiums
The PIMM Butterfly, site where the commercial city will be located, is surrounded by nature – hills, rain forest, and the not so distant Lake Gatun.

Katz estimates $434 million economic impact on the economy of Panama
Reynald Henry Katz indicated that when the construction of the PIMM is completed in 2009, profits will be at its optimum. “When the 6,800 showrooms will be at their average sale capacity, the PIMM will be able to trade approximately $35 billion yearly, making the PIMM the largest wholesale trading zone of Latin America and the Caribbean,” said Katz. It is estimated that the building and operation of the Panama International Chief Accountant Merchandise Mart (PIMM) will make a significant contribution to the economy. Katz said the contribution to the economy would be mainly through employment. Over 31, 000 people will be employed by PIMM during the construction and operation phases. These employees will be drawn from both the province of Colon and Panama City. During the operational phase, about 70 percent of the office staff and sales persons will be employed from Panama City. The remaining 30 percent of the operational personnel will be employed Executive Assistant from the Colon province. Over 70 percent of the service workers will be mainly sourced from the Colon province, while the remaining 30 percent will be employed from Panama City. Katz indicated that he will not be competing with the rapidly expanding Colon Free Zone, which is also experiencing an increase in demand for workers. “We will not compete with the Colon Free Zone for workers because PIMM does not offer warehouse space. We will employ mostly women in the service sector of PIMM, whereas the warehouses in Colon employ mainly men. Our office staff and sales persons will also be mainly women.” The creation of PIMM is the result of teamwork Reynald Katz said that behind the success of PIMM is his team. “We share the vision of the PIMM city and through effective teamwork, we will do the best job possible.” Canadian Paul Wylie is the vice president of technology. Wylie has a background in database and mathematics. He brings the strength of his experience to the team effort of creating, building and operating PIMM. Vice president of marketing, Dennis Smith, foresees the next decade as a challenging but rewarding experience. American-born, his extensive experience in Panama and the United States will enhance the global marketing program envisaged for PIMM.

Paul Wylie, Vice President of Technology

Dennis Smith, Vice President of Marketing

Children of Panama are benefiting from an enhanced educational program that is aimed at preparing them for a global marketplace.

page  / Tuesday, DECEmbEr 18, 2007

A SpeciAl internAtionAl report prepAred by The Washington Times AdvertiSing depArtment