Population2.85 million persons
Land Area75,990 sq km
Currency & exchange rate1 balboa (B$) = 100 centesimos

(~ 0.55GBP)

GDP-PPPMethod20,215.0 millions of US dollars
GDP Growth-1.020%
GDP Per Head7,104.0 Thousands of US Dollars Per Person
FinancialInterest RateInflation Rate
National BankNational Bank of Panama – offshore banking
PoliticalPanama's constitution dates from 1972 and was reformed in 1983 and 1994

The president is both head of state and head of government, elected for a one-term period of five years by universal adult suffrage. The president appoints the Cabinet. Elections for President and the 71-member single chamber legislative assembly are held at the same time with the latest round of elections to be held in May 2004.

On 1 September 1999 Mireya Moscoso became Panama’s first female president after she fought off competition from Martin Torrijos. Moscoso is the widow of three-times president Arnulfo Arias Madrid. She leads the Arnulfista Party (PA) whilst Torrijos leads the Democratic Revolutionary Party (PRD), who still have a majority in the assembly with the opposition alliance.

The influence of other parties tends to depend on their coalitions with the two main ones. Of the smaller parties, the Popular Party (formerly Christian Democrats), the Solidarity Party and the National Republican Liberal Movement are the most significant.

Social SecurityYes
LanguagesSpanish (official), English
CustomariesMen and women shake hands in Panama and social kisses on one cheek are also exchanged. Late night parties with dinner served at 2200 or 2300 are common.

Panama is an eclectic country, with a ready acceptance of immigrants from all over the world. Public celebrations therefore express the hybrid nature of its diverse cultures. Although once part of Colombia, Panamanian culture and traditions are uniquely its own and show Caribbean rather than South American influence. However, there is little interchange between different social and ethnic groups.

Do not take photos without permission, especially of Indians

Ethnic Make-up
Mestizo and other mixed ethnicities70.0%
West Indian or Caribbean14.0%
Spanish or other European10.0%
Indigenous Indian10.0%
TaxIncome TaxCapital Gains Tax

Taxable incomeTax on lower amountRate on excess
Exceeding (B/.)Not exceeding (B/.)(B/.)%

Capital Gains are taxed at the rates for ordinary income.

Description Panama historically has had one of the most stable economies in Latin America and unlike other Central American countries, Panama’s economy does not rely on primary commodities. The service sector contributes roughly 70% to overall GDP, Agriculture 10%, industry 12% and construction 7%.

The service sector is centred around the canal, the related free trade zone and International banking means that incomes are higher than average around that area. (According to the UN however, this is heavily skewed as 40% of the population lives in poverty). Also, the 10% Agricultural contribution is significantly lower for a country from such a region.

Its other economic sources are real estate, petroleum refining, brewing and cement. It’s major trading partners are the US, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Sweden.

The country is aware that it must pursue structural reform to improve the country’s overall competitiveness and attract foreign investment.













Investor Profile:Cash & Equity Investor

Pension Investor

Holiday Investor

Retirement Investor

Downshifter Investor

Business Investor



Climate:Hours of Sunshine Per Day in SummerDays of Rain Per YearJanuaryJulyAverage

Water Temp.

10The rainy season is from April–December. Heaviest rains fall in November ~ 570mm21C31C25C
Proximity to:AirportBeachNearest City
Tocumen International Airport is 17 mi/28 km northeast of Panama City and about 25 minutes by carThere are amazing beaches surrounding Panama City along the Costa BlancaBalboa
Restaurants and bars:Panama has both oceans hugging its coasts, so you must have seafood! Seafood is in great abundance, especially on the islands. Pargo rojo (red snapper) is particularly good, as is sea bass.

There are a wide variety of international (Chinese, Italian, etc.) and specialty restaurants (kosher, vegetarian, etc.), which are generally very good. You can also find U.S.-style fast food and first-rate gourmet restaurants

Sports and leisure facilities:Panama City is described as "a bargainers paradise" or "a shopping Mecca." Because of numerous free trade zones, shopping is the second most popular occupation in the city.

Ecotourism, Water sports, fishing golfing, jungle-trekking, horse riding. Boat trips on the Panama Canal are one of Panama’s major tourist attractions and there are various types of tours available. Crocodiles, birds and other animals living along the banks and in the surrounding jungle can be observed.

Transport:Public TransportRoads
The bus is cheap as a form of public transportation. If you need to get faster (almost half of the time) to your destination, you can take the "expressos” which are a lot comfier, roomier and nicer!

However, It seems taxis are the best way to get around town.

A rail link runs between Puerto Armuelles and David.

The Pan-American Highway links Panama with Costa Rica. Routes to Colombia are not generally recommended.


Crime rate:Common street crime has always been prevalent in Panama City and Colón, but poverty as a result of the disrupted economy has worsened the situation. Visitors are warned specifically to avoid locally known hotbeds of crime.
Main types of employmentService sector and tourism
Future plans:Panama has one of the best economic futures in Latin America. Like Chile, Panama has the potential to raise its people's standard of living above developing nation status in the near future.

While private education is good, public education needs continued improvement to prepare young Panamanians for the many jobs that will be created in the sophisticated service sector.

Yield range8 – 10%
Type of propertyEntry PriceRent-



Off Peak

Average Annual Yield
2 bed apartment£18,000£150£1108.6%
3 bed apartment£25,000£240£18010%
3 bed townhouse£23,000£230£18010%

Demand for letting

PeakOff peak
Finance and leisure scores:Total (out of 10)Financial (out of 5)Leisure (out of 5)
Flights scheduled from:London Airports, Manchester, Birmingham, Dublin
Typical cost of flights:PeakOff Peak
620 – 750 GBP500 – 620 GBP
Operators:National airline – ‘Copa’, Continental, American Airlines, Delta Airlines, Iberia Airlines
Description:Panama is one of the most diverse countries in Central America. With pristine rainforest, colonial cities, undeveloped beaches, incredible wildlife, indigenous tribes and one of the greatest engineering feats in the world, Panama is set to become one of the most interesting destinations in Central America.  Still in its infancy the Panamanian tourism infrastructure is already well organised and can offer a huge variety of activities to tempt all tastes, from sightseeing to relaxing, hiking to white water rafting or snorkelling.

Entry prices are so low however, so are the rents.  If the property is going to double up as a holiday home then ensure you furnish it well and get a good agent.  This way you will ensure that you get the highest rent possible and have an enjoyable stay.  Capital growth will occur, higher than the UK average, as soon as the media start dropping Panama as the new hotspot – which will happen!  Get in early while property prices are cheap.

Hot Website:
Estate Agents:NameAddressTelWeb
Altos del MariaAltos del María
Apartado Postal 8-125
Panamá 8, Rep. de Panamá
+ (507)

Buena Vista

MAYHEW COOK INVESTMENTS22 Canfield Rd. | Panama City, Panama+(507) 236

Arango ArquitectosApartado 5318
Panamá 5
República de Panamá
+ (507) 300-2336
+ (507) 300-2337
+ (507) 300-2339


Letting Agents: NameAddress TelWeb
MAYHEW COOK INVESTMENTS22 Canfield Rd. | Panama City, Panama+(507) 236

Arango ArquitectosApartado 5318
Panamá 5
República de Panamá
+ (507) 300-2336
+ (507) 300-2337
+ (507) 300-2339