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Panama

Basic Information

Area: 75,517 km²

Calling code: +507

Population: 3,320,000

Official Language: Spanish

Time zone: (UTC-5), Local time: 22:51

Overview

The Republic of Panama is a constitutional democracy situated in Central America, between the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, and shares borders with Columbia to the west and Costa Rica to the east. The capital and principal commercial centre of the country, Panama City, is located on the south coast near to the Pacific Ocean entrance of the Panama Canal, which bisects the country and connects the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. The country's second largest city, Colon, is situated at the opposite end of the Panama Canal on the Caribbean Coast, and is home to the largest free trade zone in the Western Hemisphere.

Spanish is the official language, but English is also quite widely spoken especially within the business community. The total population of Panama is in the region of 3 million people.

The service sector in Panama is responsible for about 75 per cent of the country’s GDP and is based on activities surrounding the operating of the Panama Canal, the Colon Free Trade Zone, banking, insurance and tourism. Mining has also begun to play an important role in the economy and Panama is fast becoming one of the major copper producers in the world, as well as having a significant gold mining industry. The USA is the country’s principal trading partner, responsible for almost half of Panama’s total imports.

Panama is an extremely important multi-modal logistics centre. The Panama Canal is used by approximately 14,000 ships annually, carrying in excess of 192 million tons of cargo and some 700,000 passengers and crew. Panama also benefits from extensive port facilities, which have undergone significant investment in recent years in order to expand capacity, and a recently modernised transcontinental railroad, which runs parallel to the canal. The country’s two main airports are located near the capital, Panama City, and provide numerous national and international flights.
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Local Services

Accommodation

Local Resources

Government Agencies

Republic of Panama

Development Agencies

BusinessPanama Group

Other Agencies

Panama Chamber of Commerce, Industry & Agriculture

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