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Panama: the Service economy

Alessandro PasutPANAMA

The Service economy.

One of Panama’s assets is its geographical position, where world trade routes converge. This has nurtured the Colon Free Zone, unchallenged hemisphere champion, and has made Panama prime head office or regional H.Q. choice for multinationals covering Latin America and the Caribbean. Panama’s international ship registry, with the largest fleet in the world, also adds boom and brass to Panama’s commercial orchestra.

This diverse activity has spawned a lucrative infrastructure supporting business and service organizations. Insurance, re-insurance, legal, accounting, trust services, business and tax consultancy all add to the harmony of Panama’s bustling business community.

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The Panama flag hosts and controls the largest shipping fleet in the world

Alessandro PasutPANAMA

Panama’s strategic geographical position and the Canal have made the country a cornerstone of maritime trade between the nations. This has resulted in the development of one of the country’s strongest institutions, the Panama Maritime Authority.

Under its auspices the Panama flag hosts and controls the largest shipping fleet in the world. Panama has over 8.000 ships in its registry. From the tribunals handling shipping disputes and business worldwide, to the highly respected Maritime University, the authority has an onerous responsibility. In compliance with the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea it ensures that staffing, training, certification and watchkeeping of seafarers are being complied with plus adherence to international maritime treaties and conventions ratified by Panama.

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Panama: the financial capital of Latin America

Alessandro PasutPanama

The economy of Panama grew 10.5 percent in 2012 and 8 percent in 2013. Investors who wish to establish an industrial enterprise can benefit from various incentives if they sign a special contract with the Ministry of Commerce and Industry a Contract with the Nation, as it is called. Panama’s greatest asset is the fact that the American dollar is in practice the currency of the country.

Officially Panama’s currency is the Balboa which exists in coinage form only, identical in size to U.S. dollar. The situation derives from the unique association between the U.S.A. and Panama as a consequence of the Canal.

In 1959 there were in Panama 10 banks. Today the count is about 72. The growth of the banking sector has made Panama the financial capital of Latin America, a safe international haven for money attracted by tax exemptions and the absence of exchange restrictions and the absence of exchange restrictions or controls. The regulating agency is the Superintendencia de Bancos.

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