Doing Business in Panama
Panama has historically served as the crossroads of trade for the Americas. Its strategic location as a bridge between two oceans and the meeting of two continents has made Panama not only a maritime and air transport hub, but also an international trading, banking, and services center. Panama’s global and regional prominence is being enhanced by recent trade liberalization and privatization, and it is participating actively in the hemispheric movement toward free trade agreements. Panama's dollar-based economy offers low inflation in comparison with neighboring countries and zero foreign exchange risk. Its government is stable and democratic and actively seeks foreign investment in all sectors, especially services, tourism and retirement properties.
As the CEO and president of the De Micco & Friends Group was ambassador of Panama from 2002-2006 we are well connected in Panama as well as in all Latin America.
This logistical platform has aided the success of the Colon Free Zone (CFZ), the second largest in the world after Hong Kong, which has become a vital trading and transshipment center serving the region and the world. CFZ imports – a broad array of luxury goods, electronic products, clothing, and other consumer products - arrive from all over the world to be resold, repackaged, and reshipped, primarily to regional markets. Because of this product mix, U.S. brand market share is significant, even if most of those products are made in Asia. Hong Kong is the CFZ's biggest supplier, while Colombia and Ecuador are the two largest destinations for exports from the CFZ.
Advantages for Business in Panama
Depending on the Investment Sector, the following Tax Incentives are available:
- Exemption or discount from income tax
- Exemption from import tax on equipment and raw materials
- Exemption from income tax for creditors/banks
- Accelerated loss carry-forward
- Accelerated depreciation
- No foreign exchange risk
- Absence of exchange controls
- No restrictions on companies ownership and foreign capital
- Exemption from taxes for investments in tourism, maritime, real estate, mining, Colon Free Zone, exports and other markets
- No exchange or currency restrictions
- Panama´s debt is ranked "Investment Grade", only 3 countries in LatAm have this status
- Moody's raised score of Panama's sovereign debt rating to Baa2 and improved its outlook for Panama from "stable" to "positive"
- An economic landscape of friendliness toward foreign investment with healthy and rigorous trade agreements i.e. The Investment Stability Law, the Free Trade Agreements, and Bilateral Investment Agreements (BITs)
- No restriction on 100% foreign owned real estate
- BITs with multiple countries securing against expropriation and other risks
- One of the most flexible corporation laws in the world
- No restrictions on mergers, acquisitions or joint ventures
- Enforcement of foreign judgments and arbitral awards
- Generous tax incentives for relocating headquarters of multinationals
- Panama is rated the second most competitive country in Latin America after Chile, according to the World Economic Forum
- Panama has been rated as "One of the top retirement destinations in the world", according to the Annual Global Retirement Index 2014
- Panama has been awarded the second position in the ranking of Latin American nations providing better access to capital, according to the index published by the Milken Institute
- The surplus of trade in goods in the Colon Free Zone during 2014 amounted to B/843 million (including adjustments for coverage and classification).
- Investment in construction projects totaled B/1926.3 million and primarily concentrated in the district of Panama (B/1305.9 million or 67.8% of total).
- Caterpillar, Procter & Gamble, 3M, LG, AES, TOTAL, Roche, Hershey and Heineken are some of the 100 most recent multinationals relocating their Latin American headquarters to Panama.
- Panama has become a haven for tourism in Latin America. By 2014, the number of tourists (5.2%) and hikers (14.0%) exceeded the entry of passengers. Colombia (318.248), United States (303.744), Venezuela (215.758) and Spain (81.059) were the main sources of visitors during 2014.
Services of our Lawyers in Panama
The De Micco & Friends Panama Team offers all legal services of an international full-service law firm.
- Oil and Gas contracting
- Bilateral communication and business development Europe/Latin America
- Company - and business set up, company foundation onshore and offshore in Panama and all Latin America
- Representation of European, Asian and US companies, investors and individuals in Panama
- Representation of Panamenian companies, investors and individuals in Europe
- Real Estate Law, all types of transactions (buy, sell, rent, lease)
- Representation of investors in Panama (Real Estate, Merger & Acquisitions, Capital Markets)
- Civil law, Family Law, Crime Law
- Immigration to Europe, Golden Visa
- Company Law
Please use the contact form to contact our team in Panama.