Overview of best prospect sectors, major infrastructure projects, significant government procurements and business opportunities.
Last Published: 4/17/2016
Panama has no restrictions on the outflow of capital or outward direct investment.  Its accession to the World Trade Organization in mid-1997 opened up trade and lowered tariffs across the board, giving Panama the lowest average tariff rate in Latin America.  Panama’s recognition of the U.S. sanitary and phytosanitary system and the creation of a new Food Safety Authority have essentially eliminated the previous slow and arbitrary procedures for issuing permits for U.S. food products.
Consumer attitudes and many brand preferences are similar to those in the U.S.  Many U.S. television, radio, and magazines are popular and available in Panama.  Upper-income Panamanians frequently travel to the U.S. for vacation, medical treatment, study, and business, and their buying patterns and tastes are similar to those of U.S. consumers.

U.S. goods and services enjoy a reputation for high quality and are highly competitive.  Panama has in recent years established itself as a regional competitor to Miami for consumer retail, which may result in a larger market than its domestic population would indicate.  The country boasts the highest per capita GDP in the region.  However, income distribution is highly skewed toward a relatively small, consumer goods-oriented and economically powerful class, which enjoys a high level of disposable income.  These consumers prefer high quality trend-setting goods, where price is often a secondary determinant in the purchasing decision. 

Prepared by our U.S. Embassies abroad. With its network of 108 offices across the United States and in more than 75 countries, the U.S. Commercial Service of the U.S. Department of Commerce utilizes its global presence and international marketing expertise to help U.S. companies sell their products and services worldwide. Locate the U.S. Commercial Service trade specialist in the U.S. nearest you by visiting http://export.gov/usoffices.

Panama Trade Development and Promotion