One of the fastest-growing economies in Latin America.
Panama's economy is mainly based on a well developed service sector heavily weighted towards banking, commerce, tourism, trading, private industries and the Panama Canal.
The Panama Canal toll fees, which are based on vessel type, size, and the type of cargo carried generates many benefits to the economy, with approximately 14,000 vessels traveling through every year, representing the foundation of our maritime commercial activity. The expansion of the Panama Canal with The Third Set of Locks is expected to boost the economic sector.
The Colón Free Trade Zone gives an intense commercial activity and today it has become Global Logistic Center for the world. Its annual commercial transactions generate 11 million in USD in imports and exports and it success is reflected in the more than 400 hectares, the 1,800 established companies and the 250,000 visitors yearly.
Our maritime ports on both coasts have made Panama maritime nation, transporting over 2 million containers every year, placing Panama No.1 in the transshipment container center in Latin America.
The flagship registry plays a crucial role on the economy as well.
Panama's banking sector is one of the most dynamic areas of the economy making it a serious player in the international financial stage, with more than 120 banks. The banking legislation establishes three classes of operations.
- General license banks operate full service banks in Panama and compete for domestic deposits and loans
- International License or "Offshore" banks, can only accept deposits from persons or organizations located overseas
- Representative Offices can only perform representational activities
Foreign and Panamanian banks compete on equal terms and they regulated by the Banking Supervisory Authority (Superintendencia de Bancos).
Tourism in the Republic of Panama plays a big role in the economy, the numbers of tourists and visitors’ arriving in Panama has shown a significant increase that beat all records of the past 2 years and now having the 2nd highest occupancy rate in the world
Panama has one of the most modern and flexible corporate laws in Latin America and the law allow the formation of many types of business entities, such as:
- Panama corporation (Sociedad Anonima),
- Panama foreign corporation,
- Panama general partnership,
- Panama limited partnership,
- Panama civil partnership,
- Panama commandite company,
- Panama private investment foundation,
- Panama trusts.
Regarding the offshore companies, Panama has been experiencing a fast growth in the constitution of companies and becoming very popular for foreign investors starting a business in Panama. Right now we are one of the leading offshore company formations globally.
Despite some economic and political instability in the past, Panama has remained a very popular location and the success is the combination of some factors such as the geographical location, the Panama Canal and good governance.
- Panama is one of the oldest offshore financial centers in the world and has is remained a popular location
- Panama is known for its large offshore operations, which include thousands of international business companies and financial institutions that lend primarily in Latin America.
- The expansion of the Panama Canal is expected to boost and extend the economic sector
- The largest part of the financial sector is the banking system
- Panama is one of the fastest-growing economies in Latin America
- Services includes the Panama Canal operations, banking sector, the Colon Free Zone, insurance, container ports, flagship registry, and tourism.