Panama Offshore Legal Services Blog

Panama Cuts Ties With Taiwan, Builds New Relationship With China

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In a move that was shocking to some, and expected by many, Panama officially opened diplomatic relations with China this week, effectively ending more than a half century of partnership with Taiwan. The move comes as Panama’s President Juan Carlos Varela looks to boost the country’s economy through stronger trade and manufacturing partnerships, with China as the golden goose. Varela and his government made it a point to stress that they are fully on board with China’s political policy regarding Taiwan, a move that shocked and angered both Panama’s Taiwanese community as well as many in Taiwan itself. In a statement made during a press conference involving both China and Panama, Varela stated:

“The Government of the Republic of Panama recognizes that there is only one China in the world, the Government of the People’s Republic of China is the only legitimate government representing all of China, and Taiwan is an inalienable part of the Chinese territory,” Continue reading »

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The Hub of The Americas: How Panama leads the way in shipping and logistics

Tocumen International Airport
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Panama has long been known as the “hub of the Americas”, and one of the most significant transportation and logistics countries in the world. Panama has some of the most international flights leaving and arriving (connections or otherwise) in the world, and certainly the region, with more being added every year. Panama also facilitates the world’s biggest ships, and plays a part in practically every facet of global, sea-based trade in the western hemisphere, especially cross-oceanic trade. This distiction, as the “hub of the Americas”, is more than just a marketing ploy, too. Panama’s role as a travel, trade, and logistics hub has both built its economy, and continues to help sustain it now and into the future. Continue reading »

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Panama Canal Expansion Prepares for Long-Awaited Inaugural Passages

Expanded Panama Canal
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Panama is almost ready for the first ships to cross the soon-to-be inaugurated expanded Canal. In fact, they’re all set for the first ship to arrive on June 26th, and the normal service to come through around the first week of July. Ships have already set off from Asia to make the journey, and make history. This date can’t come soon enough for the Panama Canal Authority, who has had major setbacks throughout the project, including more than two years of delays for the first passage. But now, that’s all water under the bridge, as a new era approaches for international trade; and more importantly to Panama, an economic boost.

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Panama’s Free Trade Agreement With Mexico Begins

Mexico's President Pena Nieto and his Panamanian counterpart Martinelli shake hands after signing a free trade agreement between the two countries in Panama City
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This week, Panama moved one step closer to joining the ever-growing Pacific Alliance by officially beginning the bilateral Free Trade Agreement with Mexico, signed in 2014. The two countries already do significant trade with each other, and this is a big move that will help grow both economies, and give Panama a strategic place in regional trade and commerce. Mexico is one of the strongest economies in Latin America, and has major export potential for Panama and the entire region. Mexico currently trades over $1 billion annually with Panama, with most of that number coming form exports to the isthmus.

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Panama is Becoming a Premier Destination for Conferences and Events

panama convention center
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Panama’s tourism sector is growing fast, and one of the biggest sub-sectors at the forefront of this growth is in international conference and events. From 2012 to 2014, Panama increased its conference attendance by 50%. And this is only counting conferences and congresses. If you factor in concerts and live music festivals, that number is actually much higher. Some of the major reasons for this surge are tied in directly with other aspects of the tourism boom, including an increase in available flights, hotel rooms, and event space. It’s also no secret that Panama is becoming a well-known destination for more affordable luxury travel; something that event organizers look for when booking major conferences. Continue reading »

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Panama Ranked 4th in the Americas for Travel and Tourism Competitiveness

Panama travel ranking by world economic forum
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Panama has been at the center of the world’s conversation about tourism since 2009, with rave reviews and booming visitor numbers helping to push the country to the fore. Between 2009 and 2013, the number of tourists to Panama shot up to 2.2 million per year – a rise of 40% in just 4 years. So what makes up the appeal of Panama? What about the country is so competitive in a world tourism market seemingly festooned with fantastic options? Continue reading »

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Panama’s Economic Rise: 1999 to 2013 [Infographic]

Panama-Economic-Rise
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It’s official. Panama’s success over the last decade has been largely built on a few major cornerstones, including tax incentives and increased canal revenue. Moreover, with growing efforts to promote economic growth and diversity, Panama has experienced an unhindered economic rise since 1999. The recent real estate boom and interest in tourism has further helped bring in investors, and transition Panama into a regional economic power.

Checkout the infographic below that shows 9 economic stats that compare Panama in 1999 to 2013, and the data is clear – Panama has successfully transitioned away from U.S. control and into a regional economic power. Continue reading »

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Panama – Canada Free Trade Agreement in Effect

Panama trade agreement with Candad
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The Canada-Panama Free Trade Agreement (FTA) took effect on April 1, 2013.  The FTA covers most goods imported and exported between the two countries will be duty free along with environment and labor cooperation agreements signed on May 14, 2010.

The FTA is expected to generate jobs and prosperity for both countries. Continue reading »

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