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Volcan Panama Real Estate
August 31st, 2009
Volcan, Panama is an alpine village misplaced in the tropics. This little community sits near the base of Panama’s highest mountain, the extinct volcano, Volcan Baru. With a year round temperature ranging between 55 and 78 degrees Fahrenheit, Volcan fits the Central American desciption of such locations as “the land of eternal spring.” Real estate in and around Volcan is available for retirement living in Panama and for farming as much of Panama’s flowers and coffee are grown in the Chiriqui highlands in and near Volcan.
Less known than Boquete, Panama, Volcan is more scenic and has better sense of open spaces than the valley where Boquete is located.
The Volcan area is ideal for hiking and mountain biking for those interested in such pursuits. The area, especially, Volcan Baru National Park, is world famous as a birding destination. People come from all over the world to see birds that you can see in your back yard in Volcan.
If such things a white water rafting interest you this part of Panama has a number of outfitters ready to take you on the Chiriqui and old Chiriqui Rivers where you can find Class 4 rapids during the rainy season from May to December.
Volcan is about forty miles from David, the provincial capital and commercial center of Chiriqui Province. Half the distance is on the Pan American Highway. For someone interested in an active retirement this location is ideal year round. And, like all places in Panama, the capital city, Panama, only few hours away for first world shopping, entertainment, hotels, and restaurants.
Volcan, in many ways, offers the best of all worlds for residency in Panama.
Panama Real Estate and the Price of Steel
August 30th, 2009
Steel prices earlier this year were just over a third of what construction companies were paying for rebar just year before, $450 versus $1,200 a ton. Although cement use is down and there are currently not a lot of high rises starting up in Panama City this is a good time to order rebar, lock in low prices, and plan a construction start on Panama City real estate before construction costs go up again.
Common opinion is that when the economies of India and China start to recover they will resume building and thus will drive up the cost of raw materials. Assuming that it will take a year to get prices of rebar and cement back up to levels of a year or more ago anything started now will have lower costs which will translate into lower real estate costs for apartments and condos or more profits for developers.
Likewise Panama’s mega projects continue with the Canal Expansion Locks just starting up and the metro ready to start plans. We can expect to see local projects compete for materials and a drive up cement and rebar locally in a year or two. All of this comes back to right now being a great time to invest in Panama residential real estate or Panama commercial real estate before prices start to go up seriously again.
Panama Travel: Metro Moves Forward
August 29th, 2009
Whether you travel to Panama or travel in Panama the prospect of an efficient mass transport system in Panama City is a welcome thing. The old US school buses, nicknamed red devils (diablos rojos) will be phased out, new buses will come in and the backbone of public transport in Panama City will be a modern metro.
The current administration has obtained a loan guarantee of $1 billion for this project. The number of parties interested in designing, building, and running a metro has been wittled down to six.
According to press reports the metro will develop in four phases which are as follows:
Design and Construction
Installation of Equipment
Setting up operations
The President of Panama, Ricardo Martinelli, has expressed his gratitude to President Luiz Enacio Lula da Silva of Brazil for helping Panama get the $1 billion loan guarantee from the Development Bank of Brazil. The government seems to have hit the ground running with this project which promises to add jobs, stimulate the economy, and make travel within Panama City exceptionally easier.
With Panama tourism you do not worry about hurricanes. Living in Panama City you might feel a earthquake tremor every decade or so. Living in Panama City the last tornado was 17 years ago, until yesterday. A tornado appears to have touched down briefly on the Eastern outskirts of Panama City yesterday during an unusual rain and wind storm.
Rain almost always comes straight down in Panama. Lots of it comes straight down. Panama City gets six feet of rain a year on the average. When a little wind comes with the rain and blows off a roof or knocks down a tree it is big news in Panama.
And, yes, Panama gets tornados, rarely. The last one before yesterday was in 1992. Storm damage in heavy storms or with yesterday’s tornado takes off roofs which are the weakest part of house consruction. The cement block construction of virtually all homes in Panama is relatively impervious to strong winds and even tornadoes.
So, this is not Kansas. With tourism in Panama you do not scan the horizon for churning clouds at 40,000 feet and tornado chasing is not a sport. Living in Panama you take a nap in your hammock, walk on the beach, and, every 17 years, go inside when the wind starts to blow and stay away from the windows for the next five minutes until things blow over and you can return to your hammock.
Hope for Inflation and the Cost of Electricity in Panama
August 27th, 2009
One of the contributors to inflation in Panama has been the high cost of electricity. It turns out that part of the higher than desired cost of electricity in Panama is that the power companies are buying power at spot prices. According to press reports distributors have roughly 60 percent of demand covered with their contracts with power generators and have been buying the extra at higher prices.
The Martinelli administration is taking the issue of high electric costs seriously. Government officials have sat down with Panama’s power distribution companies and worked through the situation. The distribution companies are being pressured into buying more power at better rates up front. Press reports state that fines may go up for non compliance also. Also the government is considering having distributors buy all of their power through the state’s transmission company, ETESA. This would get rid of the current situation whereby the distribution companies run short on power, buy at spot prices, and pass the excess on to the consumer.
Time for Panama Investment as Economy Is Ready to Grow Again
August 26th, 2009
Recent Panama government figures show that the Monthly Economic Activity Index is up 0.31 percent June to June. This economic indicator predicts a return to a higher economic growth rate in Panama in the later half of 2009. If you live in or travel to Panama you will see that there are still a lot of housing projects and high rises being built despite the recession elsewhere. In fact, the construction sector has grown 11 percent over the last year.
There are still great deals in high end Panama real estate but as economies sort themselves out throughout the world as well as in Panama those “deals” will be bought up in the comming months. For those interested in Panama real estate investment this is an ideal time to take advantage of historically lows property values in Panama before the boom resumes.
We have talked before about mega projects in Panama providing jobs and cash for the economy. We have talked before about the economic opportunities inherent in a modern metro system in Panama. Now is the time to be looking at where to buy real estate in Panama and how to develop it. Now is the time to find that condo on the Bay of Panama for cheap so that you can enjoy your walks along the Cinta Costera as it gets extended to Casco Viejo. Or maybe that’s a walk and a tram ride back.
Panama is an exciting place to live and affords a lot of investment opportunity. Now is the time.
More Real Estate News along the Bay of Panama
August 25th, 2009
Follow up information regarding the old US embassy on Avendia Balboa is that the US has had a 999 lease signed in 1938. However, in recent days, according to the press, the US has taken several pieces of land in Clayton in trade for giving up the lease. Thus Panama will have the old embassy. The next wrinkle is that more complaints are surfacing about plans to raze the building. Even an ex mayor of Panama City, who was very critical of US military presence in Panama over the years, has expressed the opinion that this is a part of Panama’s history and needs to be preserved.
In fact, a museum or other public use of a renovated embassy would be a nice contrast to the continual building of condos along Panama City’s bay front. With the plans to extend the Cinta Costera as far as the government buildings in Casco Viejo this area of Panama real estate will become increasingly attractive and valuable.
The new Panama City metro project will likely have a tram link from the Cinta Costera to Casco Viejo and on to the shopping area on Avenida Central. A condo on Avendia Balboa on the Bay of Panama will have the best of all possible worlds with a great view, much improved traffic control, and first world city public transportation.
US Embassy in Panama to be Razed for Government Buildings
August 24th, 2009
The old US Embassy building on Avenida Balboa served its purpose for 69 years. After the bombings of US embassies in Africa and the decision to upgrade, new US embassy facilities were built in Clayton. The old building has set empty, waiting for a tenant. There has been some controversy surrounding this choice piece of real estate on Panama Bay. The original treaty allowing use of the building specified that it be used as a embassy so it has reverted to Panama once the US staff moved out.
Many in Panama expected that the old embassy building would be restored and converted into a museum or similar use, taking advantage of its prime location on the Bay of Panama. According to the daily, La Prensa, the Panamanian Society of Engineers and Architects has opened a competition for its members to promote a unique use for the building.
The new Panama administration has preempted all other uses. The building is likely to be razed and a highrise erected on the site to house government offices on Panama’s new Cinta Costera. This choice piece of Panama real estate will raise the Panamanian flag on the bay each morning and memories of a century long US presence will fade farther into the past.
Investment Opportunities in Panama's Metro
August 22nd, 2009
According to press reports the new commission that is overseeing the planning and development for a comprehensive metro system in Panama City is being deluged with inquiries and proprosals. This project will eventually change the nature of mass transit in Panama City and change the face of Panama City. This sort of multi decade project offers investment opportunities in Panama for the asture investor.
A metro system will need equipment, infrastructure, manpower, training, training facilities, and more. A metro system will need Panama City real estate. Some of the real estate will be right of way for above ground lines and some of the real estate needed in Panama City will be surface access to underground train stations.
A Panama metro system will act as a business and rental magnet at its hub locations. A Panama metro system will increase the value of adjacent suburban Panama City real estate as a functioning rail link will effectively make distant locations like the airport at Tocumen closer to the center city, banking district, and shopping malls.
Panama commercial real estate will benefit and Panama residential real estate will appreciate also depending upon placement of and rate of development of Panama’s new metro system.
If you are interested in targeted real estate developments in Panama City talk to ABPanama and get in on the ground floor of the metro related real estate opportunities in Panama City.
Tocumen International Airport Upgrade
August 21st, 2009
Tocumen International Airport, Panama’s hub airport for the Americas has has seen nearly a five percent growth in air traffic in the first half of 2009 despite the global recession and flu scare.
Now Tocumen is upgrading its air traffic safety with a Boeing, Required Navigation Performance (RNP), system. Boeing’s wholly owned subsidiary, Jeppesen, has just completed a critical design review for the RNP system which will “support flights into the Panamanian airports for any airline, with Panama’s Copa Airlines taking the lead in testing the RNP procedures” according to a Boeing press release. RNP is a comprehensive flight navigation system to be used by all airline and meant to promote exceptional air traffic safety.
With the press full of talk about Panama surpassing Miami as the Latin American center for commerce, banking, and air transfers this is tangible proof of Panama’s progress toward a goal of leadership in Latin America. As Panama has dodged the worst effects of the recession Panama has become, again, the target for foreign investment in business and real estate.
Panama Travel, the Interior, and Cigars
August 20th, 2009
Travel in Panama offers a range of experience from scuba diving in the Caribbean to sailing Pacific waters. Panama travel also offers the interior of Panama where prices are low and life is more relaxed. A trip up the Pacific Coast from Panama City will take you to Penonome, Panama where you can visit a cigar factory!
They have been growing tobacco in Panama, with seed from Cuba, for over a hundred years. The tobacco is grown in Panama’s bread basket, Chiriqui Province. However, the factory we have in mind is closer to the city. Penonome is on the Pan American highway about three hours from Panama City. From Penonome head over to La Pintada where cigar rolling, by hand takes place in a shop that could have been transplanted from the 19th century.
You can purchase cigars in bulk for less than a dollar each at the La Pintada cigar factory but the experience of watching the rolling of cigars in a room full of the rich aroma of cured tobacco leaf is memorable. This craft is hundreds of years old and continues in the little town of La Pintada, near Penonome, Panama as it has for decades in this little town in the hillsides of Panama.
Panama Canal Expansion Locks Project to Start
August 19th, 2009
The long awaited construction of the “third lane” locks of the Panama Canal Expansion is starting in a few day. The insurer for the winning bidder delivered a performance bond of $400 million to the Panama Canal Authority (ACP) and the final contract has been signed. The locks are expected to be done in 2014 and the contract stipulates that the consortium has 1,883 days to deliver the completed project or pay a daily penalty of $300,000.
The two losing consortiums have both sent letters to ACP voicing concerns about technical aspects of the winning bid. Time will tell if they are right. Both of the other bids were more than a billion dollars over the winning bid of $3.1 billion.
The Panama real estate market has been expecting a boost also as technical experts and administrators of the winning consortium move to Panama for the next years to supervise the project.
The final outcome of the expansion will be a doubling of shipping capacity and the ability of substantially larger ships to pass through the “expanded” Panama Canal.
Real Estate Changes on the Bay of Panama
August 18th, 2009
The Yacht Club has been a fixture on Avenida Balboa on the Bay of Panama for years. However, the era of the yacht club (Club de Yates y Peces) may be coming to an end. The new administration is demanding changes including a sustantial increase in the rent paid by the club for its prime location on the bay.
With the completion of the Cinta Costera project the yacht club property has shrunk and many of its boats of dry docked making the area look like a sales lot instead of a yacht club. The club has been paying rent based upon very old valuations of the property and has been negotiating a rent increase. According to press reports the club has offered to pay $5,000 a month for the 7.5 acre tract of land jutting out into the Bay of Panama. The government says that the land should rent for $300,000 a month considering that real estate on the Bay of Panama currently sells for $4,000 a square meter and rents for $10 a square meter per month.
If the yacht club cannot come up with a satisfactory solution it appears as though there will be a new parcel of Panama real estate available for development on Avenida Balboa. The misfortune for the yacht club may turn into a golden opportunity for someone with the capital to develop a hotel and marina project in this ideal location.
Panama Biodiesel Investment
August 17th, 2009
Panama intends to invest up to $16 million in the next five years in production of bio fuels. According the the Ministry of Agriculture there are three parts to this plan. First of all is the donation of bio diesel plant to the Panama government in the last months. Second, is the intent to build a new $6 million bio diesel plant in the coming years, and third is the expected investment of $10 million in an ethanol production facility. Panama investment in non petroleum sources of fuel will hopefully help protect Panama from the next surge in oil prices.
Last year when oil went over $150 a barrel inflation became a major issue in Panama eventually leading to the loss of political power by the ruling party and the installation of the Martinelli government. Panama is working to reduce its dependence on imported oil in a number of ways. Because of its heavy rainfall and mountainous interior Panama has a number of hydroelectric plants capable of producing virtually all of its electric needs during the height of the rainy season.
There are a number of wind farms in the works. A popular Panama wind farm project is on the coast of Colon Province and has already demonstrated a reduction in local electric bills.
According to the ministry the donated bio diesel plant will be able to produce 10,000 liters (or 2,500 gallons) of biodiesel fuel a day. Additional infrastructure needed for the plant will run about $600,000 to get production on line.
Orchid Fair In Veraguas Province Panama
August 15th, 2009
Santa Fe de Veraguas is holding its 14th annual orchid fair this week. The mountain climate in this section of Pamana’s interior is ideal for raising orchids and according to experts at the fair there are over 300 distinct varieties and families of orchids that grow wild in the region. Veraguas province occupies the central Panama Pacific and extends to both coasts.
New species of orchid are continually being found in this region. Three hours by car from either David or Panama City Veraguas Province is less developed than the urban areas. Nevertheless Sante Fe de Veraguas is easy to reach on an asphalt road about an hour from Santiago, Veraguas.
If you are looking for Panama real estate with a mountain hideaway, living close to nature, or, perhaps, raising orchids, consider one of our free real estate tours to an area such as Santa Fe de Veraguas and maybe take in the orchid fair along the way.
Shorter Lines for Panama Residency?
August 15th, 2009
Panama’s immigration services has announced an extension of hours, both at the immigration offices and at port facilities in Colon. The Colon facilities will see be open around the clock and the Avenida Cuba immigration office employees will be available to clients from 8 am to 5 pm.
The primary and on going complaint regarding getting Panama residency is the long lines at the immigration office and the long waits between visits. It is unclear if longer hours servicing those looking for visas will translate into shorter waits or not. Nevertheless the longer hours seem to be a step in the right direction.
Panama’s old residency requirements were updated in August of 2008 making residency in Panama more expensive but still realtively easy. The only complaint one hears is the time it takes to process papers.
Panama Metro Budget Will Be $40 Million for 2010
August 14th, 2009
Planing and development for the Panama metro system is going forward with a budget of $40 million to be assigned for 2010. This mega project is a keystone of the Martinelli administration and promises to add jobs as well as an eventual fix for Panama City’s public transport needs.
As we have noted before on these pages the development of a well designed metro system will alleviate much of the difficulty Panama City residents currently have getting to work and around town. Panama’s recent prosperity has been the culprit with more homes being built on real estate in the Panama City suburbs and more cars on the roads.
The opportunities offered by a new metro system include Panama commercial real estate development at the connection points on the metro grid. These areas often are ideal for commercial, shopping, and apartment complexes. The wise real estate investor in Panama will be looking ahead for investment ideas as the metro planning goes forward.
Wind Farm Popular in Panama
August 13th, 2009
An experimental Panama wind farm in the Chagres region of Colon province has been a hit. The test project has reduced electric costs for the Colon, Panama coastal communities of Cristobol and Piña and residents are interested in the project being made permanent.
Panama has to import all of its fossil fuels so Panama has worked to develop hydroelectric power taking advantage of its mountainous interior and heavy rainfall. More recently Panama has started developing wind farms. This has been a government initiative more than a community one but now it appears that wind farms could become popular.
If the Chargres region wind farm is made permanent it will be extended and serve the communities of Sherman, Coco Solo, and Isla Margarita as well as the current locations.
Free Trade and Canadian Visas for Panamanians
August 12th, 2009
Prime Minister Steven Harper visited Panama to finalize preparations for a free trade agreement between the two countries. Meanwhile the issue of how Panamanians get visits to enter Canada remains a sticking point.
If business is to develop further between the two nations then it has to be easier for Panamanians to enter Canada. Currently Canada’s only visa office in Central America is in Guatemala! According to those who try to get a visit to enter Canada a Panamanian can be refused and never know the reason why. The same person is allowed to apply again but without knowing why they were refused the first time that seems pointless.
As Panama hopes to see coffee, sugar, sea foods, ceramics, melons, and more to Canada it presupposes that Canada will let business people from here enter their nation to do business. It would seem that having Panama businessmen visit Guatemala City first to deal with their visas would stifle investment and trade between Canada and Panama just as a free trade agreement is in sight.
Panama hopes to see more investment from Canada but also hopes that trade is bilateral. Let’s hope that before the Canada Panama free trade agreement is ratified that the visa situation is rectified.
Prime Minister of Canada Visits Panama
August 11th, 2009
Steven Harper, Prime Minister of Canada, is visiting Panama to sign a free trade treaty with this Central American country. The trade deal has been in the works for about a year. Both nations are attempting to widen their trade associations beyond their primary trading partner which is the United States.
For Canada this treaty is also symbolic of its desire to widen trade relationships throughout Central and South America. For Panama the treaty is a victory while the free trade pact with the USA languishes, a victim of US politics.
Current Canadian investment in Panama runs just over $100 million (CAD) but can be expected to increase with the strengthening of trade ties.
Current Canada-Panama trade comes to $149 million (CAD) and will likely also increase dramatically further improving Panama’s position as the Latin American country with the highest per capita foreign investment.
Getting a Handle on Corruption in Panama
August 10th, 2009
For every year since 1996 the World Bank has published a list of Worldwide Governance Indicators. Among the indicators of good governance measured, control of corruption is considered not only an indicator of good governance but also a strong indicator of a nation’s potential for economic growth and prosperity. The only category in which Panama does not place forth in Latin America is in the control of corruption.
Improved control of corruption will be a strong predictor of improved success in investment in Panama business and the Panama real estate market. We have been following the news story of a former Panama president allegedly having granted gaming concessions to gambling enterprise and then receiving profits from the enterprise. It would appear as though the new administration is following through on promises to deal with corruption in Panama.
Panama is the land bridge connecting North and South America and where the Panama Canal connects Atlantic and Pacific. Panama has unspoiled natural beauty and a first world infrastructure. Panama has the best roads, airports, ports, and telecommunications in Latin America. Panama is currently enjoying an economic boom fueled by foreign investment.
Panama; Control of corruption
According to the World Bank, “Governance consists of the traditions and institutions by which authority in a country is exercised. This includes the process by which governments are selected, monitored and replaced; the capacity of the government to effectively formulate and implement sound policies; and the respect of citizens and the state for the institutions that govern economic and social interactions among them.”
The following table shows where Panama places in comparison to other Latin American countries ranked by percentile for the control of corruption in the WGI (Worldwide Governance Indicator) survey from 1996 to 2007.
Panama vs. Latin America: Control of Corruption
in World Bank WGI Study 2007
Other Latin America countries besides Panama fall below 50% in ranking for the control of corruption and are not shown. According the WGI website the indicators are based on a wide array or sources. “The aggregate indicators combine the views of a large number of enterprise, citizen and expert survey respondents in industrial and developing countries. The individual data sources underlying the aggregate indicators are drawn from a diverse variety of survey institutes, think tanks, non-governmental organizations, and international organizations.”
Control of Corruption and Panama Success
Panama places seventh in all of Latin America in the control of corruption according to the World Bank’s Worldwide Governance Indicators. This is the only one of seven indicators of good government where Panama does not place forth in Latin America. Governmental corruption has long been the rap against Panama. Forty-nine percent is the middle of all countries evaluated. Forty-nine percent is a long ways from industrialized Europe where Denmark ranks 99% and France 89.4% in control of corruption.
If the news of dealing with irregularities in granting gaming concessions is an indication Panama may be improving its standing in dealing with corruption and helping its status as a target for foreign investment even more.
Construction of Highrises Continues in Panama City
August 9th, 2009
Despite a leveling off of real estate prices in Panama nearly 200 high rises are still under construction in Panama City. Real estate on the high end is in pause mode because of lower numbers of North American buyers but construction projects have been modified on the fly build more, smaller, units more appropriate for Panama’s middle class buyers.
Industry sources, as well as a drive around the city, reveal that most of the construction is in San Francisco, Bella Vista, and Parque Lefevre, away from the city center but not on the outskirts of town. All of these areas are close to shopping, restaurants, and leisure activities.
Bella Vista is interesting because it is an older and partly historic part of Panama, built when the city first started to expand beyond Casco Viejo. Real estate in Bella Vista has appreciated enough to put some historic homes in jeopardy of being torn down for the next set of high rises. For now, however, the industry seems to be set upon finishing what it started before going on the the next set of construction projects.
Punta Chame is an Idyllic Beach on Panama's Pacific Coast
August 7th, 2009
An hour and a half drive from Panama City is a little piece of paradise on the Panama Pacific coast, Punta Chame beach. Take the Pan American highway from Panama City through La Chorrera and a mile and a half past Capira. Turn left toward Libano and follow the road to the beach. Punta Chame is a penninsula, where it is a short walk from the Pacific beach to the Gulf of Chame side.
At Punta Chame there are twenty kilometers of beach, a mixture of white and volcanic sand.
This area is far enough from Panama City that the beach is pretty secluded during the week although it fills up on weekends. As North American retirees have found this little paradise real estate near Chame, Panama has become more popular.
If you are looking for an idyllic beach near your home in Panama think of Chame and the point of land with beaches on both sides that is Punta Chame. Real estate values near Chame in Panama are still quiet reasonable and before the recession improves and more North Americans come back to Panama is an excellent time to buy. Even if you already have a home in Panama come to Punta Chame for the day and enjoy paradise.
August 6th, 2009
Meteorologists are predicting another El Niño to start later this year. The affects on Panama typically include drought on the Pacific Coast coupled with torrential rains on the Caribbean. A practical problem beside whether you will need sunscreen or an umbrella is that the Pacific Coast drought is often devastating to Panama’s cattle industry.
Cattle grazing in areas without stock tanks will be prone to stress and may die if natural water courses dry up. Panama dealt with a run on inflation in the last few years that has just leveled off. Now, if the country’s meat supplies are reduced imports will be more important and, likely, more costly.
Property values in areas of Panama heavily affected by the drought may drop providing buying opportunities in the later part of the 12 to 18 months that often El Niño lasts. So far Panama has avoided most of the affects of the global recession except for a slower growth rate. A stress on Panama meat producing capacity not to mention drough in its Arco Seca, the breadbasket of Panama could drive prices up and take away some of the gains that Panama has experienced in reducing poverty with high foreign investment.
Asset Protection and New Banking Laws in Panama
August 6th, 2009
Panama has been under pressure from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) to make its banking system more transparent. The OECD argument is that individuals and corporations are evading taxes in their home countries by banking in Panama and other “off shore” locations. The threat is that Panama will be “black listed” if it does not comply.
A large part of what has attracted capital to Panama has been the asset protection mechanisms of Panana Banking, Panama Corporations, and Panama Foundations. In order to preserve Panama’s attractiveness for investment and banking the new administration is looking to satisfy the OECD’s demands by negotiating treaties that will help investors and those banking here to avoid double taxation of their income.
The hope is that this will allow Panama to open up its books to appropriate authorities while still maintaining a favorable investment and banking climate conducive to asset protection in Panama. The hope is that Panama can maintain its position as the Latin American country with the highest per capital rate of foreign investment.
Panama’s economy has been booming for years fueled by foreign investment. Poverty in Panama has been reduced as investment and employment in Panama have gone up. It is unlikely that Panama will negotiate a treaty that will take away its status as an attractive country for foreign investment.
Banking in Panama will likely become more transparent helping other countries track tax evasion, criminal activity, and terrorism. It is unlikely that Panama will negotiate treaties or inact laws that will reduce its favorable status as a center for investment in Latin America.