Doing Business in Panama

The main objective of the Doing Business Guide is to provide you with basic knowledge about Panama; an overview of its economy, business culture, potential opportunities and an introduction to other relevant issues. Novice exporters, in particular will find it a useful starting point.

Further assistance is available from the UKTI team in Panama. Full contact details are available at the end of this article.

Opportunities in Panama

Sectors with particular potential for British exporters and investors include:

  • Eco-tourism
  • Education
  • Agriculture
  • Information technology
  • Telecoms
  • Construction and infrastructure  projects
  • Chemicals and pharmaceuticals
  • Electricity generation, transmission and distribution
  • Ports and maritime
  • Food and Drink
  • Power and renewable energy
  • Textiles and toiletries

Opportunities in the Maritime Sector

The Panama Canal connects over 144 maritime routes, which makes the country a key route for commerce. Fourteen thousand ships pass the Canal each year.It is estimated that8% ofworld trade will pass through Panama when the Canal’s expansion is completed in 2014.

Trade between UK and Panama

Export of UK goods to Panama in 2011 reached £169 million; this compares favourably to larger countries in the region such as Costa Rica (£47 million), Peru (£146 million) and Ecuador (£71 million). Panama’s imports of British goods double that of other Central American countries like Costa Rica (£65 million) and Ecuador (£117 million).

The UK’s main exports to Panama during 2011 included beverages (notably Scotch Whisky), organic chemicals, medical & pharmaceuticals products, machinery and transport equipment.

UK imports from Panama totalled £26 million (2011) and included vegetables and fruit, machinery and transport equipment, organic chemicals and fish and essential oils.

For information on your sector in Panama including characteristics of the market, opportunities and key contacts, please check out the latest sector reports where available.

UK Trade & Investment Panama

Romel Adames

Head of UKTI Panama

Mobile: +507-6678-0185

Landline: +507 297-6570

Email address: [email protected]


Sectors: Construction, Education & Training, Energy, Environment & Water, Financial & Professional Services, Leisure & Tourism, Logistics, and Marine
Countries: Panama
Topics: Localisation
Export Action Plan