Panama is experiencing unprecedented economic growth as can be seen on the next pages. Many sectors of the Panamanian real estate market are still considerably undervalued. Several multi-billion dollar projects are scheduled and underway in Panama, including the expansion of the Panama Canal ($7 Billion) and a new city development on a former US air force base, to include an international airport and high-tech science park ($3 Billion).
Ownership rights are secure as Panama has an established safe and reliable public property ownership system, similar to the public registration system in the United States.
The Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT) exists between the governments of the United States and Panama. The treaty protects US investment and assists Panama in its efforts to develop its economy by creating conditions more favorable for US private investment, thereby strengthening the development of its private sector.
Panama has a stable democratic government, and its political stability is virtually guaranteed by the Panama Canal. Because of the canalʼs global significance, the Neutrality Treaty was signed in 1977, stating that the US has the right to intervene if Panamaʼs political stability (and thus the canalʼs stability) is ever in jeopardy.
The American influence on government, infrastructure, and the economy is still prevalent in Panama after the reversion of the Panama Canal to Panamanian control in 2000.
The majority of people in high level business and government positions have lived and studied in the US.
The foreign investments and goods traded graphs displays Panama becomes more and more of an attractive place to invest and do business. Panama City vesting lots of large company quarters shows that Panama is becoming increasingly important, developing a strong independent economy on its own.
The Panama Canal is one of world’s most important trade routes. The economy of the world and especially the economy of the US depend on it. To secure it's continuity and Panama's political stability, the Neutrality Treaty was signed. Other regions and countries, such as the neighbouring countries of Central and South America, are becoming proportionately more dependent on this vital artery to promote their economic development and expand trade. This is why the economic importance of this legendary passage is but one reason that a stable and free republic of Panama is a security interest for the Western Hemisphere.
The most popular visa option for people relocating to Panama is the Pensioner’s or Pensionado Residence Program. It has always drawn expats to Panama because, in addition to allowing you to stay in Panama permanently, it also entitles pensioners to discounts. To qualify you must draw a minimum pension or pension-like income of $1,000 (no real estate requirement). A big new plus: you may now pool your pension with your spouse’s pension to meet the minimum pension requirement, provided you’ll be applying together. As a qualified pensionado/retiree in Panama, you will be entitled to residence plus a host of discounts.
You’ll also get a one-time exemption from duties on the importation of household goods (up to $10,000) and an exemption every two years from duties for the importation or, better yet, local purchase of a car.
The graphs on the left show Panama's GDP growth rate throughout the years, in comparison to other countries and regions. When compared to other large economies, it can be seen that Panama tops not only large economies like the US in the past 3 years, but even countries like China and India which are undergoing massive growths themselves.
High economic growth and a large debt reduction have led to Panama recently (October 31, 2012) being upgraded to Baa2 bond rating, from Baa3 rating, making it not only a stable, but also profitable investment. The development of Panama’s credit rating has shown a very positive development throughout the years.