Investing in Panama: Where you should put your money in 2018

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It’s a new year, and that means lots of investing and financial planning for many people and businesses all over the world. Panama is heading into a big year as far as economic potential and growth, with plenty of great ways to invest your money in a variety of industries and markets. If you’ve invested in Panama already, now’s a great time to diversify and expand. If you are thinking about investing in Panama, here are some of the areas you should look into to get started, and have the upper hand as we lead into another financial year.

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Real Estate:

It may sound like a broken record after years of real estate growth in Panama, but this market is still ripe for the taking. Panama real estate seemingly never stops growing, and in 2018 it will continue to do so. Look for more big suburban residential projects on the other side of the bridge in Arraijan and La Chorerra, as well as eastern Panama City suburbs, as the city prepares for the Metro system’s Line 2 and Line 3. Also look at the Carribbean coast for new development near Colon and the seemingly undeveloped beach areas around it for both hotel/vacation condos, and new retirement/expat communities.


Despite over 100 years of having the world’s most famous Canal, Panama is only in year two of the new, widened Canal era. This allows for lots of new investment into shipping and storage projects around the Canal Zone area. There are major opportunities in ancillary services for shipping companies, container storage, local distribution, and import/export businesses. Another great area that is looking to improve (and could make a good early investment) is the port of Colon, which is home to the Colon Free Trade Zone and a significant amount of the country’s commerce markets. Keep in mind that Panama’s shipping and logistics industry is so large, investing often involves multiple markets, which is a huge benefit if the investment structure is run through Panama as its financial/logistics hub.


This category is fairly vague, as it can include many different businesses, like hotels, restaurants, tour companies, retail, and transportation. Tourism is always a hot industry for investment in Panama, as the country has been actively trying to poise itself as a tourist hot spot for quite a few years now. Hotels are seeing an upswing of occupancy, especially in the beach resort and ecotourism sectors. Restaurants seem to be the most volatile area of tourism, as they become more competitive with each other each year. That doesn’t mean, however, that there isn’t lots of room to grow and really take advantage of the growing culinary scene in Panama as an investment.

Retail is another big growth industry in Panama, despite slumping in other parts of the world. Due to its location, and the Canal, Panama is a huge hub for shoppers from all over Latin America who get better prices here, and can’t get international online stores to ship without import restrictions, or heavy fees/tariffs. This makes Panama incredibly appealing to both small and large brands, and leaves room for lots of creativity and innovation with new brands and new ideas!

About Manoj Chatlani

Manoj Chatlani is a Senior Partner at POLS Attorneys, a full-service law firm in Panama City, Panama. Specializing in offshore services, including asset protection, estate planning, offshore banking, and offshore corporations, as well as Panama immigration and real estate transactions, POLS Attorneys offers clients a streamlined solution to all their Panama legal needs. Manoj is a Panamanian lawyer and holds a law degree from USMA and earned a Masters in Communication Law and Panama Tax law.

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