Doing Business in Latin America and The Caribbean: Panama


Panama is the southernmost country of Central America. It has a total landmass of 75,517 square kilometers and an estimated population of 3,510,045 as of a July 2011. Its government is a constitutional democracy and the official language is Spanish. Panama’s service-based economy is centered on banking, commerce and tourism. Panama is considered an international business center, with one of the largest economies in Central America, as well as the fastest growing economy and the highest “per capita” consumption index in such region.


Panama’s legal and institutional framework offers many facilities and incentives for the development of international trade and service activities in Panama, with very few requirements about the nationality of investors and with no restrictions on converting currencies or transferring funds. One of the few exceptions is retail trade, which is reserved by the National Constitution exclusively for Panamanian nationals.

As a consequence, foreign investments are allowed by law in the majority of commercial activities. Some relevant aspects of “freedom of investment” in Panama are the following...

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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