Economy and Infrastructure

The Free Trade Zone called the Colon Free Zone is located on the Caribbean side of the Isthmus of Panama near the Atlantic entrance to the Panama Canal and is one of the largest in the world. All the transactions and operations taking place in the Free Trade Zone are subject to a special tax treatment whereby imports from other parts of the world and re-exports to other countries are exempted from any import or export taxes imposed by Panama. Special reduced taxes are levied on re-exports income.

There is a sophisticated banking and financial system in Panama, with more than 120 banks from 35 countries. Now firmly established as a democracy, the country has legal system based on a constitution and is politically stable with continuously growing economy. The Panama Stock Exchange is the fastest-growing in the region. In addition, Panama is one of the most secure offshore centers in the world. Financial industry of Panama offers diverse investment opportunities in banking, investment capital financing, insurance and reinsurance.

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30/09/2006
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01/09/2008
The IMF has reported that Panama was one of the fastest growing economies in the world last year.
22/08/2008
Cable & Wireless has announced that its principal operations in the Channel Islands, the Caribbean, Panama, Macau, and Monaco are expected to invest more than USD 400 million in Caribbean telecommunications development.
05/07/2008
The IMF concluded the 7th Annual Regional Conference on Central America, Panama and Dominican Republic and examined how globalization and economic integration is impacting Central America's tax structures.
14/03/2008
The President of Mexico Felipe Calderon has initiated talks with Panama regarding a free trade agreement that has been awaited for a long time.
29/02/2008
Panama's long-term sovereign credit rating has been raised by Standard and Poor's to BB+ from BB. This new rating is based on strong economic growth of Panama and continued improvement in fiscal health of its government.
19/11/2007
Recently, a new law was passed by Panama's National Assembly to give multinational companies that perform certain tasks a significant tax break. As a result, according to a company specialising in investment property in Panama, the country's real estate sector is expected to experience an unprecedented boost.
19/09/2007
The WTO has announced completing a Trade Policy Review of Panama and published the results of the review. The report suggested that the rationalization of assistance programmes and the simplification of the trade regime would help Panama to sustain the economic growth.
22/08/2007
Economic growth in Panama is expected to exceed last year's 8.1% because of a strong investment climate, a dynamic services sector and the Panama Canal expansion programme.
03/07/2007
The Trade Promotion Agreement has been signed by Panama and the United States to eliminate tariffs and other barriers to the trade in goods and services between Panama and the US.
21/03/2007
The Panama Canal Authority (ACP) held a public hearing in Balboa, Panama, with the participation of fourteen representatives from shipping and government.
11/01/2007
Panama banks Banco General and Banco Continental have come to the agreement to merge. This merger will create one of the largest financial services companies in the region. The merger is expected to close during 2007.
07/11/2006
Panama hopes to become Argentina's replacement on the UN Security Council after Latin American and Caribbean Group (GRULAC) of the UN Security Council delayed as far as some English-speaking Caribbean members were reportedly upset about not being adequately involved in this process.
08/09/2006
At a meeting of Panama's President and Executive President of the Central American Bank for Economic Integration (CABEI) agreed that by the end of 2006 Panama will become an 'extra-regional' partner of CABEI. This status will provide Panama with the access of funding of about USD 60 million.
28/06/2006
Chile and Panama signed the free trade agreement that opens up 92.5% of the Chilean economy to Panamanian producers. Now most Panamanian products will enjoy a zero tariff when entering Chile's market.