Six Panamanian teak processing companies exhibited for the second consecutive year at the 18th edition of the Dubai International Wood & Wood Machinery Show.
Among the participants were Ecotopia Teak Incorporated, Desarrollo Agroforestal de Batipa S.A., Apical Reforestadora S.A., Plywood Orozco, and Estoic: a legal and accounting firm established in Dubai that provides services to exporters.
Each of the companies participated under the name “Panama Teak,” which is a registered trademark dedicated exclusively to the marketing and sale of commercially cultivated and processed teak products in the Republic of Panama, certified by the Forestry Stewardship Council (FSC).
The Panamanian government, through the Authority for the Attraction of Investments and Promotion of Exports (Propanama), facilitated the participation of these companies in the exhibition alongside 42 other countries at the Dubai International Wood & Wood Machinery Show.
The purpose of the trade mission was to position Panamanian teak as a replacement for teak sourced from native forests, offering a sustainable and high-quality product.
“We do not extract wood from native forests, and we are deforestation-free producers. Our teak has remained among the top 4 export products in the country for the past five years, even during the pandemic. According to the tariff description (4403.42.00) available at the Customs Authority, our FOB value in 2021 reached $40.9 million, and in 2022, it was $42.4 million,” the companies stated in a press release.
This year, Ecotopia Teak was awarded the CSR Commitment prize for its commitments to corporate social responsibility. The company has a chemical-free chain within its plantations, which allows them to protect water, wildlife, and flora.
Throughout its 27 years, Ecotopia Teak has produced teak in certified plantations and processed it with a precision margin of 0.5 millimeters, which has positioned it in the top markets of Europe. Their employees are settlers and indigenous people from Chepo and Darien with low formal education levels, but they have been trained by experts and work according to Swedish standards.
Although it is the only company exporting value-added teak, authorities are encouraging more Panamanian processors to invest in developing high-quality value-added products to diversify the country’s export offerings and transfer knowledge for rural development hubs.