Panama is more than just a Canal…it is definitely way much more! The Republic of Panama is a cosmopolitan metropolis with a great biodiversity of nature where you can find a mix between tranquility and a well developed city.
In fact, Panama is a paradise to invest, to enjoy, to shop, a paradise of service, of friendly people, with seven ethnic Indian groups that still conserve their millenary traditions, with a Canal serving the world in between two oceans, a Canal considered to be the eight wonder of the world, with a variety of the most famous international chains of hotels, convention centers and a sustainable ecology in development, Panama is this and way much more!
Panama is considered to be in the 3rd position for “best place to retire in the world”; The Republic of Panama is also considered to be the best place to live outside the United Estates. This is according to the renowned “International Living” magazine and experts that promote the life style of US citizens retired in foreign countries. The “American Association of Retired Persons” a magazine for retired people, has also considered Boquete and Chiriquí in the Republic of Panama to be one of the four best places to have a home outside home. This rating was given after ten key indicators that included security, beauty, costs, climate, political stability and others.
Everything is relatively close and accessible in the Republic of Panama “Center of the World and heart of the Universe” counting with direct flights from the United Estates, Europe, Asia and Latin-American, with more than 150 private banks, business centers where you can buy or sell any type of product at the best international prices. Panama is a commercial empire!
The Free Trade Zone (Colon City) in the Republic of Panama is the second most important trade center of the World after Hong Kong. This position is given since Panama has the best route or shortest from the Pacific to the Atlantic Ocean to move global trade. For these reasons, the Republic of Panama offers a great variety of Malls (Multiplaza, Multicentro, Los Pueblos and others) and duty free shopping centers with an excellent relation between quality and price where you will be able to experience the best shopping of your life!
INVESTING IN THE REPUBLIC OF PANAMA:
When you buy in the Republic of Panama, you will find more amenities than in other retiring heavens such as Costa Rica, the costs are simply lower as well as crime rates. In the Republic of Panama you will find less bureaucracy and less interference with the local authorities when is about investing.
The Republic of Panama is one of the most globalize countries in Latin America. Panama is also a member of the (OMC) which stands for “Organización Mundial de Comercio” or “World’s Commerce Organization”, it is also part of the (ALCA) “Area de Libre Comercio de Las Americas” or “Free Trade Sector of the Americas” in which the Republic had the privilege to be the convention center for 2 years in a row (2001 & 2003) and has already started negotiations to be part of the (MERCOSUR) and (APEC).
You would not require special permits or inscriptions previous to your investment in the Republic of Panama. The Law of Stability of Investment (1998) protects all foreign investors from any change on taxes, the 10 year labor laws and other costs after an investment has been registered.
The Republic of Panama has proportioned various ways to incentive foreign investors which include;
* A US dollar based economy.
* Low inflation rates without risk of currency changes
* Total absence of exchange controllers
* Same treatment to foreigners and locals
* One of the most flexible countries in the world
* No restriction to foreign owned corporations
* No restriction to fusions, acquisitions or corporations of shared risk
* An existing Free Trade Zone
* A large percentage of bilingual labor force
* The Republic of Panama is nominated #1 in the region for low cost of living and low
operational cost from the Tripartite Committee which consists of the Latin American and Caribbean Economic Commission (ECLAC), the American Estates Organization (OAS) and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).
The Republic of Panama is totally covered by the OPIC, MIGA, IDB and other multilateral entities.
The Politic Risk Service (PRS) named the Republic of Panama to be one of the three countries in the hemisphere with best qualifications for investment.
These are just some of the reasons why Panama is the best place for your businesses and investment.
COST OF LIVING IN PANAMA
The Republic of Panama has costs of a third world country in a first world country. Panama Real Estate cost can be 1/10 of values in the United States and the cost of living is about ¼ to all mayor cities in the US. Below is a quick list of mayor living cost as reference, in many cases retirees can Sell their present Living properties, buy one better in Panama for ¼ of the cost and live a better Life Style for many years with the ¾ of their sale, with change.
Estimated Monthly Fixed Costs in US dollars:
Electricity in Panama $80.00
Water in Panama (Very Safe to Drink-The Best in Latin America) $20.00
Phone Bills in Panama (Includes Monthly Fee and Estimated Usage) $50.00
Living Maid in Panama (If you can afford it its highly recommended) $150.00
Cell Phone cost in Panama $50.00
Condo Maintenance Fee in Panama $150.00
Internet Service in Panama (Residential) $20.00
Cable TV Service in Panama $50.00
Gasoline in Panama (2.35 per Gallon – Estimate) $50.00
Groceries in Panama (Monthly for Family of 4) $400.00
Fire Insurance in Panama (Building) $150.00
Health Insurance in Panama (Basic Coverage for Family of 4) $150.00
Car Insurance in Panama (Based on a $25,000 Auto) $35.00
Private School Fees in Panama (per kid) $130.00 -$500.00
Private School Tuition in Panama $300.00
General Medicine in Panama $35.00
Dentist in Panama consultancy $35.00
Gymnasium monthly fees in Panama $45.00
Dinner at a luxury restaurant in Panama (2 pax) $50.00-$80.00
Movie theater fees in Panama $3.50
Taxi fees in Panama $1.50
Tax (ITBM) in Panama 5%
SECURITY IN PANAMA
The Republic of Panama is the safest country in Central and South America. It counts the highest qualifications on security for tourists according to the Pinkerton Intelligence Agency, is a warm, economic, comfortable and adventurous place to retire, invest and live how you have always dream of.
CLIMATE IN THE REPUBLIC OF PANAMA
The Republic of Panama counts with the ideal geographical position and atmospheric conditions. Here in Panama, you can find the perfect climate for al tastes, sunny, tropical, warm exotic beaches and over 1,200 islands that surround us. At the same time you can enjoy a fresh climate at the high lands of Chiriquí, El Valle, Boquete or Cerro Azul among the most popular spots at a few hours from Panama City.
It is very important to mention that in the Republic of Panama there are no hurricanes, active volcanoes or earthquakes because of its privileged geographical position.
The Republic of Panama counts with to climatic stages “Dry” (December-April) and “Green” (April-December) seasons. The Green season its know for the drastic changes of sun light and tropical rain that makes the country “Green”.
The temperature in the Republic of Panama during the year is 27° C y 16°C-25°C in the valleys and mountains. The north winds refresh us during “dry” season. The tropical rains are usually in between 5 to 45 minutes while the sky partially opens and lets the sun rays penetrate or country.
GENERAL INFORMATION OF THE REPUBLIC OF PANAMA
“Panama seems to be apart from Central America sustained by its canal, banks and a free trade zone” The Economist.
GEOGRAPHY IN THE REPUBLIC OF PANAMA
The republic of Panama occupies 75,990 km2 with 9 provinces: Bocas del Toro, Chiriqui, Colce, Veraguas, Darien, Colon, Los Santos, San Blas and Herrera. Up north the Panamanian coastline borders the Caribbean Sea and the North Pacific on the Southern coast of our Isthmus at only 1hr from each other. On the west side of the Republic of Panama is Costa Rica and Colombia on the East Side.
POPULATION IN THE REPUBLIC OF PANAMA
The Republic of Panama has 2,839,177 million habitants (July, 2001). It is a mix of ethnicities from different origins; Spanish conquerors, blacks and indigenous groups. Panama is a place where all cultures collide.
RELIGION IN THE REPUBLIC OF PANAMA
The Republic of Panama has the following religious statistics; Catholics: 85% ; Christians: 12%; Orthodox: 3% “Hindus, Muslim and Buddhists”
All cultural groups practice their religion freely in the Republic of Panama.
LANGUAGE IN THE REPUBLIC OF PANAMA
Spanish is the official language in the Republic of Panama. However, English is used frequently by Panamanians and businesses in the Republic of Panama.
POLITICAL SYSTEM IN THE REPUBLIC OF PANAMA
The Republic of Panama has a stable democratic political system who actually promotes the foreign investment. Panama is an independent nation that counts with a wide legal frame which supports the national security for Panamanians and foreigners.
Panama’s actual president is Mr. Martin Torrijos.
CURRENCY IN THE REPUBLIC OF PANAMA
Since 1904, the Republic of Panama uses the Balboa as its currency. The Balboa is equivalent to the US dollar which circulates in the Republic of Panama as well.
The Republic of Panama has maintained the lowest inflation rates in the hemisphere (2%) in the last 40 years.
Traveler checks, credit card or debit cards can be used to makes payments in the Republic of Panama.
Panama City counts with over 150 international and local banks offering a modern legislation on IBC´s (International Business Corporations), Private Interest Foundations, high interest rates on certificates of deposit and more! Banks such as Citibank, HSBC, BNP/Paribas and Dresdner are some of the ones you will find in the Republic of Panama.
TIME IN THE REPUBLIC OF PANAMA
The official time of the Republic of Panama is the same as the East Coast of the United Estates which is (GMT-5).
ELECTRIC POWER IN PANAMA
The electric power in the Republic of Panama goes at 110w-60hz and 220w.
TELEPHONE SERVICE IN THE REPUBLIC OF PANAMA
Internet, phone lines and cell-phone services are excellent. You can make or receive international phone calls in Panama City. The country code for the Republic of Panama is 507.
TRANSPORTATION SERVICES IN THE REPUBLIC OF PANAMA
Because of having an excellent geographical position and one of the most important routes in the world for international trade, “The Panama Canal”, our country is one of the most important spots for logistics on transportation and cargo services in the world.
The Republic of Panama counts with modern ports on the Atlantic Coast as well as the Pacific Coast. Our ports are connected with a Panamanian Rail Way. We count with excellent roads, national and international airports in which all are capable of processing cargo.
The Republic of Panama offers one of the most important maritime systems of commercial routs in the world.The public transportation cost in Panama City is of less than 25cents of a US dollar; taxis fees in Panama City starts from $1.00 USD per passenger, in case of an extra passenger you should add a 25% or 25cents per dollar.
You can reach any province of the Republic of Panama through de Albrook bus terminal or by contacting a local tour operator. We suggest a private tour services such as the fist private tour service in the Republic of Panama. (www.panamaprivatetours.com).
An example of the price for a bus ticket to David, Chiriquí is of $10.60. However, this may take long hours and a few stops to eat, etc. In order for you to travel comfortable we suggest a local tour operator as mentioned above.
DRIVERS LICENCE IN THE REPUBLIC OF PANAMA
Any driver’s license is valid in the Republic of Panama for 90 days. However, you should always carry your passport in case you get stopped by a police officer. The minimum age required to obtain a drivers license in the Republic of Panama is of 18 years of age.
MEDICINE AND MEDICAL SERVICES IN REPUBLIC OF PANAMA
The Republic of Panama offers medical services that are top rated like in the United Estates and other countries. Panamanian medical top standards include the public and private service as well. You can find a wide range of hospitals, pharmacies, laboratories, ambulance services; insurance companies that are just a part of a complete medical service system and medical specialties that are found in Panama and Central America. In Panama you will also find a large number of medical professionals; surgeons, medics, paramedics, nurses with vast experience that will confirm the best medical assistance for you and your family.
The Panamanian health center “Ministerio de Salud”, is the institution in charged of determining and conducting health politics in the Republic of Panama.
EDUCATIONAL SERVICES IN THE REPUBLIC OF PANAMA
Private and public schools in Panama are supervised under the Panamanian Minister of Education. Panamanian school systems are organized under primary and secondary “high school” levels which are six years each. University degrees are also offered in the Republic of Panama. There are also a few US universities such as Louiville and Florida State University. The Republic of Panama has over 20 different universities.
Monthly fees for School Trasnportation in the Republic of Panama: US$ 35.00
TOURSISTIC DESTINATIONS IN THE REPUBLIC OF PANAMA
The Republic of Panama is “affordable tourism”
For many, Panama is the today’s best country for ecotourism. The unique geographical position that Panama has “a bridge connecting two continents” gives the opportunity to enjoy fascinating primitive tropical rain forests and a biodiversity that counts with over 944 bird species. This is more than in the United Estates and Canada together!
It is convenient to know, that all this nature is accessible at only 1 hour from Panama City. Panama’s National Parks are vast with almost 5 million acres in size; this makes 25% of Panama’s total size. Panama has plenty unexplored virgin forests and for those who have, there is a local saying: while in other countries you see 20 tourists observing one bird specie, in Panama you find one tourist observing 20 species.
Panamanian National Parks that we recommend you to visit:
1. Altos de Campana Natural Park
2. La Amistad Nacional Park
3. Marino Isla Bastimentos Nacional Park
4. Cerro Hoya Nacional Park
5. Isla Coiba Nacional Park
6. Chagres National Park
7. Darién National Park
8. El Copé National Park
9. Camino De Cruces National Park
10. Metropolitano National Park
11. Portobelo National Park
12. Sarigua National Park
13. Soberanía National Park
14. Volcán Barú National Park
We cannot leave our beautiful beaches behind! Panama has over 1,200 islands and 2,400km of coast including the Pacific and Atlantic coast together. There is a wide range of beaches to pick from starting from all inclusive resorts to fascinating getaways. Both coasts in the Republic of Panama are separated by only 55 miles, this means that you could snorkel on the Atlantic coast in the morning and bathe in the Pacific after.
Many international experts are impressed by the world class adventure that river navigation offers in the Republic of Panama. This includes kayaks, tubes, rafts and motorized river boats. Panama has river sites where you could find 20 rapids in one afternoon. Canoe excursions, excursions, rappelling and surfing offers similar experiences to anyone looking for extreme adventures.
The Republic of Panama is characterized by its fishing. Even from Pre-Hispanic times, the rumors were that Panama had abundance of fish in its coasts and that “Panama” meant abundance of fish in local Indian dialect.
There are many options for fishing in the Republic of Panama. The most fascinating aspect is that you could fish at a short distance the following styles; fly fishing, trout or big game fishing at Piñas Bay.
We recommend http://www.panamaprivatetours.com as the most comfortable and private option to travel in the Republic of Panama.
HOW TO GET INTO THE REPUBLIC OF PANAMA
The following lists of countries do not require a visa to get into the Republic of Panama:
Germany, Hungary, Argentina, Israel, Austria, Italy, Chile, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Pollony, El Salvador, Portugal, Spain, United Kingdom, Finland, Greece, France, Singapore, Guatemala, Switzerland, Honduras, Uruguay, Holland, Luxemburg, Belgica, Bolivia.
Countries that require a visa to access the Republic of Panama:
Chad, Chipre, Egypt, ilipines, Peru, Dominican Republic, Thailand, Ecuador.
Countries that can get into the Republic of Panama using a tourist card:
Antigua / Barbuda, Aruba, Australia, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bermuda, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, South Korea, Curacao, United Estates, Vatican, Granada, Greece, Guyana, Isladia, Jamaica, Japan, Malta, Mexico, Monaco, Norway, New Zealand, Paraguay, Samoa, San Cristobal / Nevis, San Marino, Saint Vincent, Santa Lucia, Sao Tome, Sweden, Suriname, Taiwan, Trinidad / Tobago and Venezuela.
The remaining nationalities require authorization and visas to access the Republic of Panama.
Estamped Visa: You can get a stamped visa at Panamanian Consulates in your country.
Authorized Visa: The authorized visa can be obtained at Panamanian consulates in your county with direct authorization from Migration in the Republic of Panama as well as an authorization from the Panamanian Security Council.
Tourist Card: This card can be purchased for $5.00 USD and is sold at travel agencies or airlines. Every tourist must have a valid passport except US citizens that would only need to present a valid ID.
HOW TO SEND YOUR PET INTO THE REPUBLIC OF PANAMA
The following list of requierements are for the pet lovers who wish to bring thei own domestic animals into the Republic of Panama.
– The first step to bring a pet into the Republic of Panama is to get a hold of a health and rabies certificate given by a veterinary. Both documents must get stamped by the Panamanian Consulate.
– Three (3) days before the animal’s arrival, you must present an application to the Department of prevention and control of Zoonosis. The document must include the general information of the animal; age, sex, color, name, etc. The flight number, airline, owner’s information must be given as well. This application must specify the duration of the animal; permanent or temporary.
– You must pay the amount of $130.00 USD in concept of quarantine to the National Bank of Panama. This branch is located in the International Airport.
– Alter presenting the National Bank’s receipt to the department of quarantine, you will be free to enjoy your pet’s company in the Republic of Panama.
As a matter of fact, the Republic of Panama is one of the 5 countries with out rabies!