Doing Business in Panama
EENI - Business School
Learning unit: International trade and business in Panama.
The Canal. Syllabus:
- Introduction to Panama (Central America).
- The Panamanian Economy
- International trade of Panama.
- Business in Panama City.
- The Panama Canal.
- Cases study:
- The City of Knowledge.
- The Colon Free Zone.
- Set-up a company in Panama.
- Introduction to Spanish
- Access to the Panamanian market
- Business plan for Panama.
Sample of the learning unit - Doing business in Panama
Course learning materials: or Panama
Learning unit summary (Doing Business in Panama)
The Republic of Panama:
- Capital: Panama City
- Population: 4 millions
- Area: 75,517 km2
- Frontiers: Costa Rica and Colombia
- Official language: Spanish
- Main Religion in Panama: Christianity
Catholicism (3 million) and Protestants).
- Panama belongs to the Christian Civilization -
Latin American area
- Panama became independent from Spain in 1821
The Panamanian Economy
- The main pillars of the economy of the Republic of Panama (America) are:
The Panama Canal, Banking and Financial services and the
Colon Free trade Zone (biggest duty-free zone in the Americas)
- Balboa and the US Dollar (USD) are the official currencies of
- Panama has no central bank, it does not have risk of devaluations and
having total freedom to transfer capitals.
- The International Banking Center of Panama, with more than 70
international banks, is governed by the principles of the Basel Convention.
- The City of Knowledge is an international complex for education,
R & D, organized to promote and facilitate synergy between universities,
scientific research centers, companies of the new economy and international
- In the Republic of Panama they were installed five submarine fiber
optic cables communicating North America and South America and the
Caribbean with the world, making it the ideal location for telecommunications
companies and data centers. Leading companies (MCI, Cable & Wireless and
Movistar) have been implemented in Panama.
- The Republic of Panama has been selected by major multinational
companies such as Samsung Electronics, Inc., DHL, DELL (Call Center),
Hutchinson Port Holding Group, HSBC, BICSA, Scotiabank, Assicurazioni
Generali, American Life Insurance Company ... as headquarters for
their regional operations.
- Major international organizations such as UNICEF, the United
Nations Development Programme, the Organization of American States, the
Spanish International Cooperation Agency (AECI) and Bladex, among others,
have chosen Panama to establish their regional headquarters.
Clusters of investment in Panama:
- Information Technology
The International trade of Panama
- The Colon Free Zone is the second biggest
Duty Free Trade Zone of the world (2.500 enterprises, 27.347 employments, 16.160 million dollars in imports and re-exports (international trade).
- Exports of Panama: 821 million dollar.
- Main export
products: salmon, tuna, beef, watermelon, shrimp, and pineapples.
- Top Export partners of Panama (as % of total export value): the United States 42%, the People's Republic of China and Taiwan 5.3%, Costa Rica 7.3%, Sweden 5.4%, Netherlands 6.5%, Spain 6.2%.
- Top Import partners of Panama: the United States 29%, Costa Rica 5.2%, Mexico 4.5%, China 4.2%, Japan 3.6%.
The Panama Canal
- The Republic of Panama has a privileged geo-strategic position that
makes it one of the most important logistics centers in the world; with
the Panama Canal as a major axis, the Panama Canal over 190 million
metric tons of cargo (container, Bulk ...) are transported, serving more
than 120 maritime routes to 80 countries.
- 80 kilometers between the Pacific and the Atlantic Oceans, 8 to 10
hours to transit
- 14,000 ships pass through the Panama Canal every year.
- The activities of international transport through the Panama Canal
representing 5% of global foreign trade.
- The increase in foreign trade, especially between Asia and the
United States, continues to have very significant impact on the demand
for the services of the
- Panama Canal to increase both the number of Panamax transits and the
UMS tonnage (Tonnage System Channel).
- The expansion project of the Panama Canal (1 billion dollar)
offers significant business opportunities for companies around the
Panama: Organizations and free trade agreements:
- The Central American integration system (SICA)
- The Central American Common Market - Integrated with SICA -
- Panama has Free Trade Agreements with
- The Latin American and Caribbean economic System (SELA)
- The Association of Caribbean States (ACS)
Canada - Panama Agreement:
Agreement Panama Taiwan:
Agreement Panama Singapore: