There are many reasons why Panama is fast becoming one of the most popular destinations for retirees around the world. Many prospective visitors arrive at their decision to move to Panama through a process of elimination. That is, individuals often go through a process of asking questions (like the ones below) about each and every country that might suit their needs.
Panama has a strong, stable democracy and a tradition of democratic electoral process. Most, if not all, of the vestiges of military dictatorship have been eliminated and forgotten.
Panama is a great place to live. In addition to a year-round tropical climate, two oceans, picturesque mountain villages, Panama Canal, jungles, islands, beaches and rivers, Panama has one of the lowest crime rates in this hemisphere.
Panama offers one of the most modern economies in Latin America. In addition to the U.S. dollar as its national currency, Panama enjoys very low inflation and zero foreign exchange risk. There are no controls or restrictions on capital repatriations. Panama has over 140 banks, and is an international center for finance, insurance and shipping.
The Panama Canal has played an important roll in the commercial and maritime development of the country for decades, capturing the attention of international companies that make the decision to establish their business in the country.
On October 22, 2006, the 76.8%the of Panamanian citizens approved a plan to expand the Canal. In September 2007, the work began as a $ 5.2 billion expansion project. It Is expected to be finished in 2014, the project will allow ships twice the size of the current Panamax transiting the Canal, dramatically increasing the amount of goods that transit through there, and the increase of new investment in the Panamanian economy.
On the other hand, a representative portion of the Panamanian economy focuses on the Colon Free Zone, which generates many benefits to the international trade. The intense commercial activity that developes in this emporium has a huge impact on the local economy, which is reflected in the contribution to the Gross Domestic Product by 7.5%, which is why it is considered one of the pillars of the Panamanian economy.
The Colon Free Zone annually receives over 250,000 visitors from around the world, and commercial transactions of the annual turnover generates U.S. $ 16.160 billion in imports and re-exports.