2019 Panama Economic Facts & Figures
- The International Monetary Fund predicts slower GDP growth in the US—2.5%; Europe—1.6%; Canada 1.9%
- Panama's GDP growth rate rebounding with a predicted growth of 6.3% for 2019
- “Despite slowing in 2018, Panama is expected to remain among the most dynamic economies in the region with strong fundamentals.” (IMF)
- Hotel occupancy in January rose 9.3% and Average Daily Rate rose 17.2% to $110.89
- "Panama's economy remains among the most dynamic and stable in Latin America.” (IMF)
- Panama regained its crown as Latin America’s fastest growing economy in 2018 on a surge in trade through the newly-expanded canal and government investment in other infrastructure projects. The $5.3 billion expansion of the canal allowed the passage of larger ships and increased levies by 50%.
- The World Bank forecasts Panama will be among the leaders in Latin America in an economic rebound in 2021 with a growth of 5.1% (source).
Construction Keeps Driving Panama's Economy in 2020
Large scale construction and infrastructure projects will continue to drive Panama’s strong economy for many years to come. Some of these projects include:
- Tocumen International Airport Expansion: the new terminal has already begun test operations and will be fully operational by the end of the year. It will increase passenger capacity to over 18 million by 2022. Panama continues to be one of the busiest airports in Latin America with more than 80 direct flights to 36 countries.
- New Canal Bridge: the work on a 4th bridge over the canal, connecting Panama City and the interior of the country, has already started. This bridge will ease traffic in and around Panama Cit and will also accommodate the third line of the metro; pedestrian and cycling paths.
- Amador Causeway Cruise Terminal: this $165 million cruise port is scheduled to open in 2019. It will have a berthing capacity for two cruise liners with the ability to accommodate five of the world’s largest ships. It will increase daily tourism and Panama’s reputation as a top tourist destination.
- Cobre Copper Mine: the world’s largest copper mine started operation in Panama in January 2019. The mine, a $10 billion investment by Canadian firm, is projected to create more economic growth than the Panama Canal.
- Panama City's Metro Expansion: Line one is operational with 180,000 riders daily, and line two opening soon. A further of 4 lines will be constructed.
- Amador Causeway Convention Centre: This $193 million project with 624,000 square feet of exhibit space will have the ability to accommodate up to 25,000 convention goers daily.
- Other projects include the Colon Container Port mega project, the expansion of the Interamerican highway connecting Chiriqui and Santiago and the recently completed third bridge across the Panama Canal near Colon.
Panama’s new Causeway convention centre
Panama City’s metro
Panama’s Cobre copper mine
Panama Causeway cruise terminal
Panama’s 4th canal bridge
Panama Tocumen airport extension
Farming and agriculture is another key component of Panama’s expansion plans, especially after last year's election of new president Mr. Laurentino “Nito” Cortizo, an ex minister of agriculture. While the sector currently only makes up a small part of the country’s GDP, Panama is offering lucrative incentives to farmers and farming companies to expand agricultural productivity. These include a 0% tax rate on profits made from agriculture related activities under certain conditions.
Panama Residency & Citizenship
Panama regularly ranks at #1 in lists of best places to retire. But also for people not looking to retire or relocate, getting a second residency and/or citizenship is highly advantageous and desirable.
In November 2020 Panama rolled out new residency options, in addition to their already popular Friendly Nations program (interesting external article on the Burning Platform here). Please note that all these residency and citizenship options are compatible with our investment opportunities in Panama.