Historically, Panama has enjoyed a very friendly investment climate in the region of Latin America and the Caribbean in view of its privileged position as a crossroads of the continent as well as for its ability to apply practical business models from other successful countries and regions.
In this connection, the country has a competitive legal framework for the establishment of corporations, based on the corporate model of the State of Delaware in the US, which is considered among the most business friendly for the creation of companies.
As Singapore in South East Asia, Panama is the logistics and transshipment center for excellence, distributing goods and services in the wider Latin American region and the Caribbean.
Similar to Hong Kong, Panama possesses the second largest free trade zone of the world and the number one in the Americas, serving as a regional warehousing center for international corporations.
And like Switzerland, Panama has a world-class dollar-based banking center, supporting the monetary transactions of multinational corporations operating in the country. To support the soundness of the banking system, Panama has signed more than 12 double taxation agreements as well as treaties for the exchange of fiscal information with the US and other countries.
Panama is one of the five Latin American countries with investment grade granted by the three main sovereign rating agencies, namely, Fitch Ratings (BBB, stable outlook, 2013) , Standard & Poor’s (BBB, Stable outlook, 2013), and Moody’s (Baa2, Stable outlook, 2012). These ratings provide a great deal of trust in the good management of our economy.
In terms of competitiveness, Panama was ranked in the 40th place worldwide by the World Economic Forum in 2013. In specific indicators, our country received top grades such as Quality of Port Infrastructure , 4th place ; Affordability of Financial Services, 2nd place; Soundness of Banks , 4th place; Foreign Direct Investment and Technology Transfer, 3rd place; and Business Impact of Rules on Foreign Direct Investment, 5th place.
In view of the good business climate, Panama received an accumulated foreign direct investment of US$9,4 billion from 2009 to 2012, focused mainly on the following sectors: wholesaling and retailing, transport, warehousing, communications, financial intermediation, construction and utilities supply (energy, gas and water).
The government of Panama has identified the following areas for investment: Logistics, Financial Services, Tourism, Science and Technology, Agriculture, Infrastructure, and Mining.
Companies interested in investing in Latin America and the Caribbean can benefit of Panama’ s modern legislation which offers attractive tax, labor and immigration incentives. Among others, this legislation includes:
- Law 32 of 1927 establishing a flexible regime for Company Incorporation
- Decree 238 of 1970 establishing the International Banking Center
- Law 18 of 1948 establishing Colon Free Zone
- Law 6 of 1998 establishing the City of Knowledge
- Law 54 of 1998 for legal stability of investment
- Law 41 of 2004 establishing the Panama Pacifico Special Economic Area
- Law 41 of 2007, improved by Law 45 of 2012, which creates the Headquarters for Multinational Corporations
- Law 76 of 2009 for the Promotion and Development of Industry
- Law 82 of 2009 for the Promotion and Development of Agroexports
- Law 16 of 2012 for the Promotion of Movie Industry
- Law 32 of 2012 establishing Free Zones Regimes and Call Centers
- Law 80 of 2012 establishing incentives for the Tourism Industry
COLON FREE ZONE
CITY OF KNOWLEDGE
Panama Pacifico:Special Economic Area(SEA) (English,Spanish)
Superintendency of Banks of the Republic of Panama (English,Spanish)
Members of Panamanian Association of Exporters (APEX) (Only Spanish)