Exporting to Panama
Political and economic stability
One of the most politically stable countries in Latin America, Panama is to over 90 local and international banks (World Bank, 2017). Its currency is the US dollar and there are no foreign exchange controls.
Regional hub and strategic location
Some of Latin America’s most important ports are located in Panama. The Panama Canal cuts across the country connecting the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, and is one of the world’s biggest shipping routes.
Generous tax incentives
Panama has one of the lowest corporate tax rates in Latin America (25%), as well as the lowest sales tax in the region (7%) (World Bank, 2019).
Opportunities for exporters
There are opportunities for UK companies across a broad range of industries. Our trade advisers in Panama have identified particular opportunities for UK businesses in the following sectors.
New infrastructure development projects
As part of the 2016 Panama Canal expansion, further strategic improvements to this iconic route include a new container port, a liquefied natural gas terminal, logistic parks, and a roll-on roll-off terminal and ship repair facility. This provides opportunities for UK companies to provide consulting services, construction supplies and to bid for construction projects.
Expansion of transport and logistics network
Panama City’s transport improvements include road upgrades and a new public transport system. Due for completion in 2035, the Panama Metro is halfway through construction and will eventually consist of five metro lines and three tramway lines. This also provides opportunities for UK companies to provide consulting services, construction supplies and to bid for construction projects.
New initiatives to address skills gap
The ‘Panama Bilingüe’ project started in 2015, providing English language training to both teachers and pupils. This has created opportunities for UK teaching and higher education institutions in language training, curricula and testing.
Panama’s growing economy has increased demand for a qualified workforce to maximise the benefits of foreign investment in the country. Panama has its first technical institute, the 'Instituto Técnico Superior Especializado' (ITSE). Substantial business opportunities for the UK’s education sector exist in areas such as English language training, technical and vocational training, transnational education.