Dreaming of Finding a Country of Business Opportunities? Move to Panama

Panama is a small country located on the narrow isthmus between North and South America. In terms of economic growth and transformation in many sectors of economy, Panama has the potential to outperform many developed countries.

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the country is still in the lead, and has not lost its leading position in the Latin American region. Panama has a strong interest in professionals and investments that can contribute to the economic growth of the country. The government is happy to welcome those expats who wish to start their business or relocate it to Panama, as well as those people who wish to move to the country.


Learn More About Panama

Panama may seem rather remote for the Europeans, but it is a country with great prospects, especially for international business in Panama. Before making the final choice and deciding on moving to another country, it is necessary to get prepared and collect reliable information on pros and cons of living in Panama.

Panama can be exactly the country that will change your life for the better and become your second home. When choosing where to live, you have to decide for yourself in what part of the country you would like to settle. A lot depends on your habits and the lifestyle you are used to. Consider the costs of living in Panama.

Panama City is not just the capital of the Republic, it is the main hub of Panama, where more than 50% of the country’s total population is concentrated. Panama’s urban population is 70%, the highest rate in Latin America. 

The density of the Panamanian population is more than 50 people per square mile. Given that most of the population is concentrated in the center of the country, there is a large unpopulated territory. As of 2020, Panama’s population is more than 4 million people.

Spanish is the main language. English that is especially popular with the expats is gradually becoming part of the mainstream. In particular, communication in English extends to the field of business which plays an important role in the country’s economy. Doing business in Panama in English is a great advantage.

The culture of indigenous Panamanians is associated with the conventional concepts that describe the most important things in life. Great importance is attached to family values that shape social behaviors. The Panama nationals stick to the traditions which can still be seen in clothing, dancing and music not only when celebrating national and religious holidays, but also in everyday life of Panama.

As mentioned above, Panamanian society is multiethnic. Expats from North America, Europe and Asia have long been settled here. People in Panama are very friendly and helpful.

Why is Panama Attractive for International Business?

In order to attract foreign investment, Panama has long developed tax and corporate legislation. Thanks to the territorial system of taxation, the country receives new investment inflows, creates new jobs, and offers favorable conditions for international business.

The rigorous offshore legislation allows foreigners to register offshore companies whose interests are safely protected by the government. According to the tax rules, Panamanian taxation applies to income received inside the country.

If a Panamanian company is engaged in international business and operates in foreign exchanges and markets, such company does not have to pay taxes in Panama, except for annual franchise of 300 USD.

It should be noted that fast-growing businesses can enjoy the environment Panama can offer in various fields. In addition, the world-famous reconstructed Panama Canal, the Colon Free Zones and other free zones can be used.

The financial sector of Panama has great potential. There are over seventy banks there, one can find many world-renowned brands among them. 

Panamanian banks have a good reputation in the global financial market and a high capitalization. Today, banking institutions of Panama can compete with the Swiss banks.

Assets of foreigners in Panamanian banks are well protected by the laws of the country. Banks disclose information about the account owner only in exceptional cases, upon permission of the Panamanian court. Actual business with the Panamanian bank account will not face any issues and obstacles in carrying out their international transactions.

The country considers it unnecessary to produce its own money, so it uses the U.S. dollar in its entire territory. Panama uses balboa that is equal to one U.S. dollar as its national currency.

This fact is a great advantage for international business since there is no need to worry about currency fluctuations. Panama has no currency regulations and restrictions. Thus, a business person or investor does not have to worry when entering or leaving the country.


Healthcare in Panama

The level of health care in Panama is very decent, and it is highly appreciated by foreign retirees. The country has both public and private hospitals, including branches of famous U.S. clinics with modern equipment.

The cost of medical services in Panama is considerably lower than in the USA, Canada, or European countries. Therefore, medical tourism is becoming more popular in the country. Foreigners come here for treatment combined with vacationing on the wonderful beaches of Panama.

Panama’s Appealing Transportation System

Panama has one of the highest rates of air travel between the capitals on the different continents if we take the Latin American countries. The only one Panama is second to is the capital of Bolivia, La Paz.

The number of international flights to and from Panama City is far greater than those offered by countries such as Mexico, Peru, Brazil, Chile and others. The Panama Canal is of great importance to both the country and the world. It shortens the time it takes the vessels to get to the Americas from Asia.

The Panamanian government undertook a reconstruction to expand the Panama Canal at the end of May 2016. Today, the canal’s capacity allows more vessels of greater tonnage to pass through the canal than before. In addition, transport infrastructure throughout the country is expanding, with new roads and bridges being built every year.

Panama is a Good Place for Living and Vacationing

Climate and nature of Panama are a special topic as they are among the most striking advantages of this country. Despite the country’s small size, its nature is lavish and abundant. Unique places can be found literally everywhere.

Panama has about 1,500 islands where one can find the real wilderness. In Panama, it is quite realistic to buy an island to build your own house and enjoy it. In addition, the country has more than 4,000 km of coastline along the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea. It is the only country in the world where you get to the Pacific beaches and swim in the Atlantic ocean within a few hours.

The best beaches of Panama are known to many Americans and Europeans. Many of them have purchased properties on the coast, using them for permanent residence or vacations.

However, there are places where the beach facilities are still under development. So the farther you move from the capital, the wilder the beaches get. The variety of beach locations in Panama allows you to choose a vacation spot to suit every taste. It is not difficult to find deserted beaches or even deserted islands.

For example, if you live in Panama City, visiting the coast and relaxing by the ocean on pristine beaches will require just a 100-km trip by bus or car. Those who love surfing can find beaches where the waves are good for both beginners and experienced surfers, with the long and high waves.

In recent years, certain Panamanian beaches have become the venue for international surfing competitions. Some of these include sport fishing competitions. This type of entertainment is gaining popularity among those expats who come to Panama to make record catches and enjoy their time. The country is very rich in flora and fauna that can only be found here.

Speaking of the nature of Panama and its climate, we would like to note that it is a country where summer never ends. The only difference is that it may be rainy or dry. But even if we look at the rainy season, we can say that the rains are not pouring hard. Mostly they only last a few hours and then the sun comes out and as a result you can often see a rainbow.

Panama is known for being located in a favorable climate zone free of hurricanes and tornadoes which are often observed in other tropical countries. In addition to the plains by both coasts of Panama,  mountain ranges are running through the center of the country.

Panama’s mountainous areas are yet another highlight of the country. Such cities as Boquete, Volcán, El Valle, Cerro Punta and Santa Fe are very popular with the expats and foreign retirees who wish to settle in Panama. This is thanks to the fact that the climate of the mountain areas is milder and cooler, and it is suitable for those who do not tolerate hot weather.

Climate of the mountainous areas is often called the eternal spring since the average temperature here is 72 F. These towns are close to the border with Costa Rica and more distant from the capital of Panama.

Panama is the Best Country for Emigration and Permanent Residency/Citizenship

One should not miss the business opportunities in Panama. Having a business in Panama allows you to obtain a residence permit. 5 years later you can get the Panamanian passport. 

The condition set for expats who wish to obtain a residence permit is that they just need to purchase property in the country.

Residency investment programs in Panama

There are different types of visas that allow foreigners to qualify for a residence permit, temporary or permanent. Here are the most popular Panamanian investment residence programs: the Friendly Nations Visa, and the Economic Investor Visa.

Another visa program that has attracted the attention of expats wishing to obtain Panamanian residency by investment is the Qualified Investor Visa. This program, as well as the Friendly Nations Visa, offers not only simplified requirements for foreigners, but also permanent residency status, with no need for temporary residence.

The Pensionado visa is of special interest for foreign retirees from the USA, Canada and European countries. This visa allows the retirees to reside in Panama, while enjoying all the government benefits that reduce the cost of living by 10 to 50%.

Thanks to the fact that the country is rapidly developing, today the standard of living in Panama matches the comfort of the developed countries. The cost of living in Panama, high level of infrastructure development allow foreign retirees and expats to receive services and goods at a lower cost than in their home country.

Therefore, Panama regularly ranks as one of the most attractive places for retirees. Yet this type of visa is not suitable for obtaining Panamanian citizenship. There are other visas for the purpose of obtaining a second passport, such as those listed above.

Property in Panama

Those who have decided to choose Panama as a place to do business and a second home, will be interested to know that the country has a huge real estate potential, both for business and living. The country’s government has provided attractive conditions for investors wishing to build residential or commercial real estate.

Today, the real estate market prices in Panama are the most attractive in the Latin American region. Property investment can be not just a necessity for living in Panama, but also a valuable asset. This applies to both rental properties and properties for sale.

Regardless of what the main reason for moving to Panama is, whether it is for a job or business, it is necessary to think about the place to live. At first, an expat can stay in a hotel until they decide on a rental or private property.

Panama, especially the capital, offers a choice of hotels and rooms that will satisfy the most demanding expats. One can find hotel rooms to whatever taste and of suitable size. In most cases, expats are advised to rent a housing first, with no rush to buy it.

Such advice is related to the fact that a person who has just arrived needs to settle in, get acquainted with the environment, understand where they feel more comfortable, in a major city or a small town, far from the center.

Meanwhile, buying property is already a way to get a residence permit in Panama. However, before you decide to buy an apartment or a house, it is necessary to get acquainted with the rules of buying property and the laws of the country. After all, Panamanian civil legislation has a number of peculiarities which you have not encountered before.

To do that, you need to get more information and preferably from various sources. Therefore, the final decision on the purchase should be made only upon consulting with a competent expert. 

Should you have any questions on living in Panama as an expat, on opening a bank account, investments and other questions, please feel free to email us at info@offshore-pro.info or call us. We will provide free advice along with the actual assistance and the services you might need.

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