Doing Business in Panama

EENI - Business School

Learning unit: International Trade and Business in Panama. The Canal. Syllabus:

  1. Introduction to Panama (Central America).
  2. The Panamanian Economy
  3. International trade of Panama.
  4. Business in Panama City.
  5. The Panama Canal.
  6. Cases study:
    1. The City of Knowledge.
    2. The Colon Free Zone.
    3. Set-up a company in Panama.
  7. Clusters of investment:
    1. Services
    2. Tourism
    3. Logistics
    4. Information Technologies
    5. Energy
    6. Agribusiness.
  8. Investing in Panama.
  9. Legal Framework for foreign Investment (FDI) in Panama.
  10. Foreign companies in Panama.
  11. Introduction to Spanish
  12. Access to the Panamanian market
  13. Business plan for Panama.

Sample of the learning unit - Doing business in Panama
Colon Free Zone

This learning unit "Doing Business in Panama" is part of the:
  1. Master in Business in Latin America
  2. Master in international business (MIB)
  3. Doctorate DIB Business in America
  4. Course Doing business in Central America

Course learning materials: En or Es Panama

Learning unit summary (Doing Business in Panama)

The Republic of Panama:

  1. Capital: Panama City
  2. Population: 4 millions of people
  3. Area: 75,517 km²
  4. Frontiers of Panama: Costa Rica and Colombia
  5. Official language: Spanish
  6. Main religion in Panama: Christianity - Catholicism (3 million) and Protestants).
  7. Panama belongs to the Christian Civilization - Latin American area
  8. Panama became independent from Spain in 1821
  9. The abolition of slavery in  Panama: 1824
  10. African Diaspora in  Panama: 0,4 millions of people (14% of the  Panamanian population)

Panama City Business

The Panamanian Economy

  1. 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)
  2. Balboa and the US Dollar (USD) are the official currencies of Panama.
  3. Panama has no central bank, it does not have risk of devaluations and having total freedom to transfer capitals.
  4. The International Banking Center of Panama, with more than 70 international banks, is governed by the principles of the Basel Convention.
  5. 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 organizations.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.

The International trade of Panama

  1. 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).
  2. Exports of Panama: 821 million dollar.
  3. Main export products: salmon, tuna, beef, watermelon, shrimp, and pineapples.
  4. 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%.
  5. Top Import partners of Panama: the United States 29%, Costa Rica 5.2%, Mexico 4.5%, China 4.2%, Japan 3.6%.

Panama Business

The Panama Canal

  1. 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.
  2. 80 kilometers between the Pacific and the Atlantic Oceans, 8 to 10 hours to transit
  3. 14,000 ships pass through the Panama Canal every year.
  4. The activities of international transport through the Panama Canal representing 5% of global foreign trade.
  5. 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
  6. Panama Canal to increase both the number of Panamax transits and the UMS tonnage (Tonnage System Channel).
  7. The expansion project of the Panama Canal (1 billion dollar) offers significant business opportunities for companies around the world.

Central American Integration System

Free Trade Agreements (FTA) and market access of Panama:

  1. The Central American integration system (SICA)
  2. The Central American Common Market - Integrated with SICA -
  3. Panama has free trade agreements (FTA) with the United States, Canada, Central America, Chile, El Salvador, Taiwan, Singapore, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, the European Union, the Andean Community, and Costa Rica.
  4. The Association of Caribbean States (ACS)
  5. The Mesoamerica project

Central American Common Market

Panama is member of ...

  1. The Latin American and Caribbean economic System (SELA)
  2. The Economic Commission for Latin America (ECLAC)
  3. The Inter-American Development Bank
  4. The Latin American Integration Association (observer)...
  5. The Forum for East Asia - Latin Amrica (Panama)
  6. The Organization of American States (OAS)
  7. The Africa - South America Summit (ASA)
  8. The World Bank (WB), the Andean Community (Observer), the International Monetary Fund, the World Trade Organization (WTO), the United Nations (UN), ...

FTA EU Central America

Canada - Panama Agreement:
FTA Panama Canada

FTA Central America Panama

Agreement Panama Taiwan:
FTA Taiwan Panama


Agreement Panama Singapore:
FTA Panama Singapore

FTA United States Panama

Panama - Andean Community

EENI Business School