Economic Growth in Panama from 1999-2013
The Republic of Panama is a thriving and diverse country, growing rich with trade and commerce. Thanks in part to the Panama Canal and Colon Free Trade Zone, the wealth of nations is flowing through the country and helping increase quality of life. The figures are stunning. Exports have rocketed to three times their original value, poverty has decreased by 10% of the population, and industrial growth averages 4-10% annually since 1999. The number of skyscrapers in Panama City is indicative of the 60+ multinational corporations which have chosen to make PTY their base of operations, while the on-going construction of luxurious resorts and developments has been ever present in the last decade.
Development and Growth on the Caribbean Coast of Panama
While much visible wealth is situated in Panama City, it is the Atlantic Coast that really rakes in the bucks for Panama. The Colon Free Trade Zone (FTZ) is a vast network of warehouses and storage and some of the largest shipping terminals in the world including Manzanillo International Terminal, with favorable tax laws helping huge businesses move millions of tons of products and goods to international destinations at competitive rates. The Caribbean is also home to one half of the Panama Canal, with the expansion of this engineering wonder further spurring interest in the coastal region.
Even the city of Colon, a colonial-era relic in a slump quite alien to its former prosperity, is beginning to receive attention once more. A proposed project to add a beautified seafront area, perfect for shops, businesses, and people to congregate, is in the cards. Modelled on the capital’s Cinta Costera, it is hoped that it will aid regeneration of the area and tackle the existing poverty in Panama’s “second city”. The FTZ has powered Panama’s position in the world and the Panamanian government is finally recognizing its responsibility to the people of Colon.
The infographic shown here is by Panama Offshore Legal Services, who have compiled a number of great statistics showing why Panama has not just grown but diversified its talents – economically and socially. Capable of withstanding the financial meltdown of 2008, Panama has shown itself to be far more resilient than other Central American flash-in-the-pan-economies. Let us hope that the increasingly favorable attitude towards the Caribbean coast continues, with the region potentially poised to become Panama’s economic engine room in the near future.