18 Reasons why Panama is an ideal location for second homes, retirement and real estate investment:
- Panama has a great variety of world-class attractions all in close proximity.
Easy-to-get-to exotic tropical rainforests, beautiful mountain refuges, Caribbean-style beaches, seven living Indian cultures, a Miami-style capital city, historical sites, golf, diving, rafting, sportfishing- not to mention that 8th wonder of the world and engineering marvel- The Panama Canal.
- Panama is safe.
Panama has the highest rating for tourist safety from the prestigious Pinkerton Intelligence Agency. In a Newsweek magazine article on tourism safety worldwide, Panama received same tourism safety rating as the USA. Foreign residents in Panama will tell you how safe they feel living in Panama compared to any other country in Central America.
- Panama has a First World infrastrucure.
Panama has a first-world infrastructure starting with a US style capital city with high speed internet, the second largest Free Trade Zone in the world, a banking sector with 90 banks, first rate hotels and restaurants and shopping on par with the United States. The highway infrastructure, medical care, telecommunications and business services are excellent-comparable to the USA as noted in the ARRP’s Modern Maturity magazine.
- Panama is close.
As part of Central America, Panama is just a short plane ride away. Eight major US cities offer direct daily flights to Panama City: Los Angeles, New York, Newark, Miami, Houston, Dallas, Atlanta and Orlando.
- 5. Panama is tourist friendly.
English is spoken as a second language and the Panamanian people are amongst the friendliest in the world. They are known for their peaceful, get-along and fun loving nature. As a result of the 90 year presence of Americans in the Canal Zone, Panamanians understand and appreciate Americans- thousands have worked with Americans as well as studied in the United States.
- 6.Panama has the US dollar as its currency.
The dollar is Panama’s currency-a great convenience. That’s right! In Panama, there’s no need for currency exchange. No need to be a mathematical genius to figure out what that meal just cost or how much to tip the bellboy. Your bank accounts and investments are also all of course in US dollars.
- 7.Panama has world-class medical care and a healthy environment.
Many Panamanian doctors speak English and are American-trained. Several hospitals have medical services on a par with US hospitals. Sanitary conditions are excellent- there is almost none of that tourism scrouge- “Montezuma’s Revenge”. You can even drink the tap water- a rarity in Latin America. An amazing abundance of fresh and inexpensive fruits and vegetables makes healthy living a pleasure.
- 8. Panama is the best place for nature travel and ecotourism today.
Canopy tours, trekking, rappelling, sea kayaking and surfing are world-class experiences in Panama. Panama has the easiest-to-get-to exotic nature in the world. It’s position as a narrow land bridge connecting two continents has endowed it with some of the worlds’ most pristine and bio-diverse rainforests in national parks covering 5 million acres. A key indicator of its bio-diversity: Panama has 944 recorded bird species, more than the U.S. and Canada combined. Furthermore, all that great nature is very accessible, with some of the best locations less than an hour from Panama City. There is a local saying that while in other countries you have 20 tourists looking at one bird, in Panama you have one tourist looking at 20 birds
- Panama has a wide selection of beaches and island venues and activities.
With two coasts and more than a thousand islands, there is much to choose from for beach vacations from full service resorts to exotic island retreats.
- Panama- the affordable exotic destination.
Normally this kind of pristine natural beauty comes at a fancy price. Because Panama has just begun to promote itself as a tourist destination, its prices are still some of the best in the market.11. Panama is world-class for adventure.
International experts rave about river running in Panama, including rafting and kayaking. This includes rivers where you can ride 20 sets of rapids in one afternoon. Canyoning, trekking, rapelling and surfing offer similar world-class experiences for the hard and soft adventure seeker.12. Panama has world class fishing, diving, snorkeling and sailing.
One place in Panama, Pinas Bay, holds 170 world fishing records. There are five world class diving areas: Coiba National Marine Park, the Pearl Islands, Bocas del Toro archipelago, Portobello and for historical diving the Panama Canal.13.Panama City is a smart choice for convention and incentive travel.
Panama City is a sophisticated and safe city with fascinating and fun things to do nearby. Day trips from Panama City include world-class sportfishing, rainforest adventures, golf, Indian village tours, scuba diving, fascinating historical sites and the Panama Canal.14. Panama Has no Hurricanes or major destructive earthquakes.
Panama is even blessed by nature. It is the only country in Central America that is absolutely hurricane-free. Panama also has none of the destructive earthquakes that plague its Central American neighbors. Your Panama vacation will never be re-scheduled due to natural events. Your property investment will always be safe from hurricanes and earthquakes.15.Panama is Survivor Country.
How exotic and interesting is Panama? 14 countries have filmed their Survivor programs in the islands of Bocas del Toro and the Pearl Islands. CBS’s Survivor has filmed four series Panama’s Pearl Islands- the latest appearing as the Exile Island Series. No other country has had Survivor more than once.
16 PANAMA IS AN INTERNATIONA FINANCE CENTER.
Panama is an international finance center with over 115 national and intenational institutions. Low mortgage programs and beneficial rates are ready available. Real estate developments have plentiful access to a stable and heatlhy dollar funding for the building industry. Primary and second home mortgages opportunities are offered for nationals and foreigner
17 PANAMA IS FULL OF SOCIAL OPPORTUNITIES
Join thousands of other international residents from US, Asia, Europe and Latin America in a country that has excellent social opportunities, English is widely spoken and understood.
18 OTHER CONSIDERATIONS
Excellent shopping, great restaurants, good schools, internet and services, quality constructions, world class fishing,diving snorkeling and sailing. Panama is an affordable exotic destination.
What form of government does Panama have? Panama has a democratically elected government which serves a five year term. The structure is President, two Vice-Presidents, and Ministers of the various branches of government. There is no denying that back in the late ‘80s when the United States deposed Manuel Noriega from power, that this was the case. There is no denying that it took several administrations, and a growing sense of national pride amongst Panamanians for change.
Now there exists an anti-corruption council with enforcement powers and a prosecutorial mandate from the government, and from the people. Personally, I have been told privately and publicly by officials from the Vice-Presidents on down through the Ministerial level that attempts to deal in this fashion will be rebuked, and perhaps prosecuted. This was the past of Panama, but it is not the present.
Myth: Your business runs the risk of being “nationalized” once it is profitable.
REALITY: Simply put, not possible. Why? Panama needs foreign investment and is in a unique partnership with the private sector to encourage this and the long term continuity of foreign investment. There are many tax and investment incentives offered to foreign investors and property owners. There is no Panamanian tax on income earned outside of Panama for corporations who may domicile or have subsidiaries in Panama. Panama’s government and business leadership understand all too well that foreign investment must have a sense of long term stability to invest and to continue to invest. Simply put again, any acts of nationalization run counter-productive to Panama’s own national interests.
How is Panama acting against money laundering?
Now that the misperceptions have been corrected, what does Panama have to offer?
A U.S. dollar based economy, often called the Balboa Dollar.
A long history of U.S. presence which is reflected in such areas as infrastructure, engineering expertise, quality of construction standards, and journeyman skills.
Real estate values that are appreciating and offer exceptional value for the dollar.
A business community and population that has wide spread fluency in English.
A growing world acknowledgment of its tourism attributes of beaches and weather.
It is well south of the 100 year history of hurricane activity in the Caribbean and the Pacific Oceans.
The Panama Canal, which already handles 28+% of the world’s shipping volume. In late 2006, a national referendum will be held to ratify the plans to expand the canal through a third set of locks to upgrade the canal to handle the mega container ships which now travel the horn of South America to get to the Pacific from the Atlantic. This expansion will increase the canal’s capacity to handle, according to recent projections, more than half of the world’s shipping traffic. Dirt and material that will be removed to accomplish this will be used to create two mega ports at each end of the canal, allowing for the loading and unloading of infrastructure required for the mega container and cruise ships, the latter of which will be a huge boost to tourism in the country.
The canal expansion that will create these two mega ports, will also now allow Panama to be a major port of destination and origin, and not just trans-shipment. Panama’s central location to world markets that allow for equity of shipping time to both hemispheres of the world marketplace, Panama’s labor pool of inexpensive labor (the average Panamanian wage is currently $7.50 per day), its broad fluency in English, coupled with its dollar based economy means that Panama is highly likely to become a country where weather, stability, and location combine to make it highly attractive as one of the world’s premier sites for manufacturing facilities of large, multi-national manufacturing and distribution corporations.
The fiber optic trunk lines for the Western Hemisphere run through Panama, putting Panama directly in the distribution node for global internet, broadband and digital communications. Currently, world corporations such as Dell Computers have established 22 global call centers in Panama, and this number is growing, testament to the broad-based global reach possible from Panama and the economies of operations it offers world businesses.
AARP, one of America’s largest representative groups of America’s largest and financially significant demographic groups, the baby boomer generation, currently cites Panama as the fourth best place in the world to retire as an American. There are a growing number of retirees in Panama, as well as second home owners, not only from Panama, but from Canada and Europe as well, all strong testimony to a growing and financially capable local market as well.
Real estate is measured in hectares. 1 hectare = 2.4710538 acres. Electrical power is the same 220/110 voltage supply, single and three phase, as the U.S., meaning no conversion for electronics of manufacturing equipment is required.
Beyond the economic attributes for world commerce, Panama is a prime opportunity for tourism development and housing ownership. It lies below the hurricane belt and offers miles upon miles of pristine beaches, world class surfing, and a bio-diversity of ecology and environment unmatched in the world. The world’s largest hobby, bird watching, alone offers a tourism goldmine due to the many unique and plentiful species of birds there. The fastest growing tourist industry is eco-tourism and Panama offers a variety of climates, mountains, valleys, beaches, fish, fowl, fauna, waterways, and two oceans just waiting to be discovered by tourists eager to be in a more natural and bountiful setting for their outdoor activities.
Golf and fishing, with such sought after catches as the prized Black Marlin, Yellow fin Tuna, sailfish, and Mahi Mahi, are world class in Panama, with room for more golf/residential facilities and sport fishing outlets to be created.
Panama is a three hour direct flight from Miami, a 4 hour direct flight from Houston, and a 6 hour direct flight from Los Angeles. Direct flights to and from Washington and New York are also in place, and one can easily reach other world destinations in South America, such as Brazil, Argentina, Columbia, and Peru, as well as Central America, Mexico and the Caribbean.
Health care is of the highest standard in the population centers of Panama. John Hopkins University, world renowned for its quality of care and treatment, is currently finishing a brand new hospital in Panama City in partnership with the local university and medical school.
Tax incentives, such as no property taxes for 10 years, discounts at hospitals, doctors and pharmacies for Americans on retiree visas, all expand the already strong purchasing power of the American dollar in Panama.
And many more…….
Why Panama, you ask?
Location, opportunity, and value. Three excellent reasons, wouldn’t you agree?
By. Panamenian Tourism Institute (IPAT)
Panama THE PATH LESS TRAVELED