Panama´s strategic location at the center of the Americas has always been one of the key advantages of doing business in or from Panama. The new Panama Canal creates a cluster of multiple industries and services in the maritime sector but also spreading to accountants, lawyers, bankers, custom brokers and other services providers. The new airport is providing the infrastructure for an array of other services because of multiple connections to all the Americas and Europe, thus paving the way for the development of Panama as a regional corporate headquarters for multinational corporations. Panama has an extensive network of double taxation treaties for a number of key markets. The country is signatory to some 50 bilateral investment protection agreements, among them China, India and the USA.
Since Spanish colonial times, Panama has always been a service economy. The principal business sectors are the international financial center, the trade, petroleum and export zones, ports, airports and logistic services, and tourism.
Shipping has been an essential part of Panama’s economy for the millennia. In more recent years, the Panama Canal has aimed to position as a principal crossing point in worldwide shipping with multiple state of the art container ports and logistic services and now with the recently inaugurated expanded Canal allowing the passage of Neo Post Panamax ships. In addition to its maritime heritage, Panama has developed a strong legislative framework for the registration of ships and yachts. In addition to providing high-net-worth families with a diversified investment portfolio and a place to live or holiday, purchasing real estate in Panama traditionally generates high returns, due to the limited land mass of the country, if one opts for re-sale.
Rather newcomer sectors are mining, energy and Panama as regional headquarters for multinationals.
Throughout this period from 2008-2015 of slow economic growth, Panama kept growing and emerged as a key hub for business and investment into multiple sectors as well as for wealthy individuals, expats and pensioners seeking an advantageous residency location. Having won international respect for the excellence of its financial services industry and established itself as one of the safest and best run financial centers in the Americas, high-net-worth individuals, globetrotting professionals and retirees from all over the world and beyond are attracted by Panama’s advantages.
Towards the Future
As hard work and diligent regulation have built the foundations for Panama’s recent achievements, the country’s future wellbeing is crucially linked to its success in moving further up the value chain and finding markets for the export of high-quality products and services. One of Panama’s aims is to become the international financial center of choice. Outside of the US and Europe, Panama continues to build its good relations with China, Korea and Japan, with both nations keen to encourage cooperation between their financial services sector.
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