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Panama 2018

PUBLISHED October 2018



With plans for a rival canal crossing Nicaragua now seemingly dead in the water and a Chinese vessel being the first to enter the newly expanded Panama Canal in 2016, Panama has maintained its status as one of the world’s most significant trade hubs.

Sneak peek at what’s inside:

TBY Analytics: Panama 2018

TBY Analytics reviewed all of the interviews conducted for The Business Year: Panama 2018 and examined trends and sentiment among the nation’s business leaders.

Our interviewees’ most frequently mentioned benefits and drawbacks of doing business in Panama:


  • Strong logistics sector, in particular maritime
  • Geography
  • International relations
  • Strong currency


  • Socio-economic issues
  • Outdated labor laws
  • Safety issues
  • Poor education system
  • Lack of technological developments


Panama’s USD-pegged currency, key geographical location, and tax exceptions are just some of the factors that make it the optimal country for companies looking to enter the region.

  • Manuel Calderón Quiel, Managing Director, Tetra Pak
  • Seong Hyun Lee, President Central America and Caribbean, Samsung
  • Andrés Jiménez, General Manager, CEMEX
  • Marc De Leeuw, Country Manager, Boskalis
  • Luis Eduardo Ocando B., Country Managing Partner Latam North, Ernst & Young
  • Alberto Alesi, Regional Manager Caribbean and Central America, Manpower Group



“Panama will strengthen its commercial relationship with the second-largest economy in the world, boosting its logistics platform and consolidating Panama as a center of operations with added value for large Chinese technology companies.”

– Isabel Saint de Malo, Minister of Foreign Affairs & Vice President of Panama



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