Visit Panama and take the opportunity to live in a cosmopolitan city, close to a rich and exuberant rainforest.
Panama is a country with a unique geographic and strategic position and more than a century experience in International Commerce. The name PANAMA was given by native Indians and it means abundance of trees, fish and butterflies. Through times, the meaning of abundance includes The Panama Canal, its big ports in both the Pacific and the Atlantic oceans, a profitable Free Zone in Colon City, an International Banking Center, all of which makes of Panama one of the best countries in the world for national and international commerce and investment, as well as an outstanding place to retire safely and peacefully.
Our firm has expertise with special legal and economic rules and incentives the country offers to facilitate international and national business developments and relocation.
|A US dollar -based economy (the only such country in Latin America) which offers a low inflation and zero foreign exchange risk||Special Investment Incentives|
|Total absence of exchange controls|
|Equal treatment of foreign and local citizens|
|One of the most flexible corporation laws in the world|
|No restrictions on foreign-owned companies|
|No restrictions on mergers, acquisitions or joint ventures|
|A bilingual labor force|
The United States accounts for more than 80% of leading investment-seeking missions; these include those in the manufacturing and agricultural sectors such as Bridgestone/Firestone International, Nabisco Brands, Phillip Morris, Revlon and United Brands, etc.
Panama is slightly smaller than the state of South Carolina; total area 78,200 sq km.
2,490 km of coastline
Lowest point-0 m Pacific Ocean, highest Volcan de Chiriqui 3,475m
Panama’s population is just over 3 million
Panama is divided into 9 provinces: Bocas del Toro, Chiriqui, Cocle, Colon, Darien, Herrera, Los Santos, Panama, Veraguas, and 1 territory San Blas; Kuna Yala
Government type – Constitutionals Democracy (Republic of Panama)
Borders both the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean and is located between Costa Rica and Colombia
Entry Requirements: Valid passport and tourist card issued by air carrier or place of entry
The Panama Canal was built between 1904 and 1914 by the United State Army Corp. of Engineers
The Panama Railroad was the most expensive railroad ever build, taking 5 years and 8 millions dollars to build
The Panama Railroad was at one time the highest-priced stock on the New York Exchange, priced at $295 per share
Panama is located in the Eastern Standard Time Zone, Just five hours behind GMT
The President and Chief of State is Martin Torrijos Espino (1 September 2004), and is the son of the late Omar Torrijos.
President Martin Torrijos received two degrees from Texas A&M University: Economic & Political Science
Panama’s currency is the Balboas and has been equally exchanged for the US dollar since 1904
Panama was a signatory to the World Trade Organization (WTO) as well as the Free Trade Agreement of the Americas (FTAA)
Colon Free Zone is located in Colon and is the largest duty free zone in the Western Hemisphere and the second largest in the world (world’s largest being Hong Kong)
Panama has NO MILITARY
Panama strongly encourages foreign investment and development.
The “Tourism Law No.8” was implemented to include incentives such as 20 years immunities from import duties and fees for construction materials and equipments, income, real estate and other taxes.
Panama has the second largest number of Offshore registered companies (Hong Kong is first)
Panama’ average temperature is between 77 and 87 degrees Fahrenheit year round
Panama is only 2.5 hours from Miami
During Colonial times, Panama was the financial center for Europe’s gold and silver industry
It is suspected that the Portobello Bay (near Isla Grande) contains one of Christopher Columbus’ ships, and at least 20 other shipwrecks. It is also the final resting place of Sir Francis Drake
Panamanian beer is available for as low as .50 a bottle
Invest US$200,000 in any Titled Property here in Panama and you may qualify for Panamanian Residency through the “Self-Economic Solvency Visa” program
Panama City [ranks] among the top five places in the world for an “inexpensive” retirement, InterantionalLiving.com
Full-Time, Live-in-Maid cost about $200.00 per month
Over 40 banking laws exist in Panama to protect the business nature of foreigners, such as banking privacy laws, as well as foreign/local investor equality laws
The Panamanian government implemented (August 1997) “Decree Law #9” which provides fantastic incentives to anyone interested in developing, investing or restoring/renovating in Panama City’s historic district, “Casco Viejo”
Life Begins at Retirement
With many retirement communities being developed and planned within the United States, Panama is following suit with some appealing options of its own. Just a few hours away by plane, reasonably priced and with a great climate all year round, it seems like residential communities in Panama just might have even more going for them than their North American counterparts.
Following in the footsteps of the ever-successful Valle Escondido development in Boquete, the first of its kind here in Panama, there are now numerous similar projects popping up all over the country, offering a variety of exciting locations.
Many people are coming to Panama in search of a cheap piece of land so they can build their dream home in paradise. This is all well and good, but if you want someone else to take care of all the hard work, while you sit back and enjoy Panama, or tie up all the loose ends at home before you make the final move, a residential community could be for you.
If you are buying a new property on a development, you will be able to custom-design your home, deciding on every last feature, but the team of architects and developers will take care of all the dirty work, and the entire process will be managed on your behalf so you can return on the finish date, collect the keys, and move right in.
Once your home is built, if you choose not to be a full-time resident, the development will be able to manage your property, renting the home out while you are not using it, thus maximizing the investment.
Right now, you can find developments on the outskirts of Panama City, overlooking the canal (Tucán Country Club), in the Boquete Highlands (Cielo Paraiso), on the Pacific Coast beaches, on the Caribbean islands of Bocas del Toro, in the Capira Valley just west of Panama City and on the Pearl Islands in the Pacific Ocean. All of these projects are unique in their own way, but what they all have in common, is that they are all first-world quality developments with first-class facilities and first-class security systems, working 24 hours a day to protect the resident. Immense care is taken to ensure that the property is correctly titled, thus avoiding the possible headaches associated with land-purchase in Latin America. The amenities, be they golf courses, health clubs, restaurants or healthcare facilities are all in place to make sure that in your new home, you have everything you could possibly need. What’s more, most of these projects are currently in their infancy, meaning that now is a great time to get involved. (Panama980)
Exporting Processing Zones
The Exporting Processing Zones are specifically delimited areas wherein, in virtue of the agreements entered into with the State, the investors shall have the necessary infrastructures for the installation and operation of enterprises dedicated exclusively to exports.
The enterprises which shall benefit from the law are the following : manufacturing industries; assembling industries; non-traditional high technology companies; specialized services and general services companies.
The fiscal incentives provided for the investors installed in said Exporting Processing Zones are the following:
- 100% Income Tax exemption for a one year period, without having to reinvest in Panama with any part of incomes earned.
- Upon the expiration of the first ten years of total income tax exemption, the law extends the total income tax exemption for each fiscal year in which the investor has reinvested in the company for an amount not inferior to 20% of the income or earnings obtained during said fiscal year.
- Exemption of customs duties and of personal property transfer tax on all machinery and equipment required excluding vehicles and office supplies.
- 100% exemption of real-estate tax.
- The law establishes a carry-of-losses special regime which consists of deducting such losses from the taxable income in the three years subsequent to the year in which said losses were incurred.
The law establishes a special regime which contemplates important advantages for the companies located in the Exporting Processing Zones. Among these advantages are the following:
- Market or clients losses shall be grounds for justified layoff.
- Production premiums, bonuses and rewards shall not be considered as salaries.
- The employer may rotate his employees in the various company productions lines.
- Employers may fix the vacation period of the employee in advance and may, in addition, divide yearly vacations in two equal fractions.
- Prior agreement among the parties, the possibility of submitting the collective conflicts, entirely or partially, to arbitration is contemplated.
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Tourism investment in Panama has the following fiscal advantages:
- Total income tax exemption during a 13 year period.
- Total import duty exemption on machinery, equipment and parts for a 20 year period, including airplanes, helicopters, boats, ships, buses, automobiles and sporting goods owned by the investment company.
- Total exemption, for a term of 20 years, of port and landing taxes for piers and airports built and rehabilitated by the investment company.
- Total real-estate tax exemption for a term of 20 years.
- Total exemption for a term of 20 years of the payment of capital and property taxes.
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Special Advantages in the International Trade
- Invoicing, from an office established in Panama, the sale of merchandise or products for an amount larger than the amount of said merchandise or products invoiced against the office established in Panama, providing that said merchandise or products are moved abroad.
- To distribute dividends or participation of juridical persons, when such dividends or participation originates from income produced within the territory of the Republic of Panama, including income originating from those activities mentioned in section a. of this paragraph.
Merchandise moved abroad include those passing through the Panama Canal in order to reach their destination.
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The Panamanian Law on Leasing is attractive for both local and international leasing operations. The most important of these attractive options are as follows:
Earnings originated from operations which lease property located outside the national territory are totally exempt from income tax in Panama. In addition to the foregoing exemption, the earnings originated from the leasing of vessels under Panamanian flag dedicated to the international maritime trade are exempt from income tax payment in Panama. Considering that the Panamanian merchant marine is among the largest in the world and that leasing is a form of financing being used by the shipping companies, the exemption described shall render a large market for leasing operations of this nature. All forms of leasing (variables, sales lease back, etc.) are admissible.
- Any depreciation systems are admitted.
- The leasor and the leasee may simultaneously depreciate the leased property if so permitted by the laws of the country where the leased property is located.
- The incorporation of a leasing company entails a relatively simple procedure where the obtention of a special license is not necessary. The obtention or qualification of US$100,000.00 and the registration of the company in the Directorate of Financing Companies of the Ministry of Commerce and Industries will suffice.
- In addition to the foregoing, there exists the possibility for a leasing company to be constituted in the form of a Panamanian corporation having, in consequence, the facilities offered thereby.