October 29, 2011 / 10:06 PM / 6 years ago

Panama leader sees economy growing 11 pct in 2011

ASUNCION, Oct 29 (Reuters) - Panamanian President Ricardo Martinelli said on Saturday the country’s economy was set to grow 11 percent this year, higher than previous estimates.

Panama’s economy, one of the fastest growing in Latin America, is being boosted by a $5.25 billion expansion of the Panama Canal and other government infrastructure spending.

“In Panama, we’re going to grow 11 percent this year. We don’t have unemployment,” Martinelli said during an Ibero-American summit in Paraguay dominated by Europe’s sovereign debt crisis.

“(This is based on) foreign investment and heavy investment by the private sector and by the public sector,” he added.

Panama’s economy grew 7.9 percent in August compared with the same period a year earlier, official data showed earlier this week.

Martinelli said in April that economic expansion this year could reach 10 percent.

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