Atlanta and Panama City, Panama’s “friendly competition” for the secretariat of the Free Trade Area of the Americas will be sustained when a delegation of some 40 business and public Panamanian officials visit here June 14-15, according to Juan B. Sosa, president of the Washington-based U.S.-Panama Business Council.

Mr. Sosa, a former ambassador from Panama to the U.S., said that a series of forums would be held during which local academic, business and public representatives could meet the visitors in an effort to strength the ties between Atlanta and Panama.

“Atlanta and Panama City are in friendly competition for the FTAA secretariat,” he told GlobalAtlanta in a telephone interview. “If Panama City is not chosen, we would like to see Atlanta become the secretariat,” he said, adding “both Atlanta and Panama City do not consider Miami as friendly competition.”

Atlanta is one of 11 cities vying for the secretariat including Miami and Panama City.

The Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce will host a business forum from 9 a.m.-noon on Monday, June 14, that will be followed with a luncheon during which opportunities for increased trade and investment will be discussed.

The ramifications for a proposed free trade agreement between the U.S. and Panama currently being negotiated also are to be discussed.

From 2:30-5 p.m., the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will host a scientific forum and, from 6-9 p.m., Delta Air Lines Inc. and Panama’s Institute for Tourism will host a reception for the tourist industry that will seek to increase tourism between Atlanta and Panama.

A diplomatic program is to be held on the morning of Tuesday, June 15, at a still to be determined location, and from 2:30-5 p.m. an academic forum will be held at the Georgia Tech College of Management. That evening the delegation will attend Atlanta Braves vs. Kansas City Royals baseball game at Turner Field.

The cost to attend the business forum and luncheon is $100 or $60 for just the luncheon.

Mr. Sosa may be reached by e-mail at For more information, go to