Panama Fact Summary 2017

Panama summary of political, economical, legal, investment

Panama Fact Sheet - 2017


Transparent elections since 1990

Smooth transition of power every 5 years

Long tradition of openness to foreign investments

Structural adjustments to economy proven positive

Bureaucracy reduced, but still a major factor


US dollar is legal tender

One of the fastest growing in the world with an average GDP growth of 8.56% over the past 10 years

Inflation rate was 0.7% (2016)

Unemployment 5.5% (2016)

Foreign Direct Investment reached over USD 5 billion (2016)

Free trade agreements with more than 10 countries, including USA


No exchange or currency restrictions

Panama´s debt is ranked "Investment Grade", only 3 countries in LatAm have this status

Moody's raised score of Panama's sovereign debt rating to Baa2 and improved its outlook for Panama from "stable" to "positive"

An economic landscape of friendliness toward foreign investment with healthy and rigorous trade agreements i.e. The Investment Stability Law, the Free Trade Agreements, and Bilateral Investment Agreements (BITs)


No restriction on 100% foreign owned real estate

BITs with multiple countries securing against expropriation and other risks

One of the most flexible corporation laws in the world

No restrictions on mergers, acquisitions or joint ventures

Enforcement of foreign judgments and arbitral awards

Generous tax incentives for relocating headquarters of multinationals


Depending on the investment sector:

Exemption or discount from income tax

Exemption from import tax on equipment and raw materials

Accelerated loss carry-forward

Accelerated depreciation

No foreign exchange risk

Absence of exchange controls

No restrictions on companies ownership and foreign capital

Other Highlights

Panama is rated the second most competitive country in Latin America after Chile, according to the World Economic Forum

Panama has been rated as "One of the top retirement destinations in the world", according to the Annual Global Retirement Index 2014

Panama has been awarded the second position in the ranking of Latin American nations providing better access to capital, according to the index published by the Milken Institute

Caterpillar, Procter & Gamble, 3M, LG, AES, TOTAL, Roche, Hershey and Heineken are some of the 100 most recent multinationals relocating their Latin American headquarters to Panama

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