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Wednesday, September 19, 2007

A to Z on Investing in Panama

Panama is one of the best kept secrets of the Americas and is quickly becoming a world class destination for business, pleasure and living! Panama has ranked #1 in International Living's Annual Global Retirement Index... for five consecutive years! So if you love uncommercialized beaches, mountains and nature there is no place like Panama.

There are so many reasons to choose Panama. Below is just a short list from A to Z as to why Panama is so incredible and why we have chosen to make the Azuero Peninsula our home.

Affordable and exotic destination. Panama is just starting to promote itself as a tourist destination so its prices are some of the best on the market. The cost of living - rent, homes, utilities, transportation, food and services are well below North American and European prices.

Beaches! Panama has a wide selection of beaches and island venues. With two coasts, the Caribbean and Pacific, and more than 1000 islands, Panama has so much to choose from. The Azuero Peninsula boasts some of the best beaches in Panama - literally stretching for miles.

Climate - With temperatures ranging between 75-85 degrees year round (25-30C) and it cooling down nicely in the evening, you will be comfortable year round in Panama. The dry season runs from December thru mid-May and the green season is the remainder of the year. Despite more rainfall in these months the sun usually shines every day in Panama.

Driving in Panama is like no other Latin American country. With one of the best infrastructures in Latin America, the Panamanian highway is excellent as are the main highways to a variety of popular destinations, including Pedasi in the Azuero Peninsula.

Eco Tourism is hot! Panama is the best place for Eco Tourism with the most accessible pristine rainforests in the world. Panama boasts over 10.000 plant species, 1,000 types of tress and 1,500 butterflies. Panama's biodiversity is outstanding. National parks cover 5,000,000 acres and have over a 1,000 recorded bird species - more than Canada and the U.S. combined. Panama has one of the most wonderful eco systems in the world with national parks that cover ¼ of the entire country. A visit to Isla Iguana and Isla Canas in the Azuero Peninsula is a must!

Financial Sector is Strong! ATM machines give access to US account with many locations in Panama City and throughout the country. Sophisticated banking sector comprised of 90 different banks. In fact, Panama is home to the second largest international banking centre in the world next to Switzerland. Panama has the most modern and successful international banking centre in Latin America. It also is the second largest home to offshore Corporations in the world, with only Hong Kong having more. Panama has over 400,000 corporations and foundations registered, and offers favorable and flexible incorporation laws.

Geographical position of Panama is unique. Panama has no hurricanes or major earthquakes and is the only country in Central America that is hurricane free. Your investment is safe in Panama.

Health - Your health is in good hands in Panama. It is one of the best places for world class medical treatments at affordable prices. You can get medical treatment utilizing the same techniques, facilities and medications as in the U.S. and many doctors and dentists speak English. Health insurance policies are very reasonably priced. Johns Hopkins International Medical Centre only location in Latin America is in Panama. In fact, the only other country in the world outside the U.S. to house a Johns Hopkins is in Singapore. You can even drink the tap water in Panama, which is a rarity in Latin America.

Infrastructure of a First class nation! Cosmopolitan capital city with high speed internet and sophisticated banking sector. Panama has first rate hotels and excellent restaurants offering a wide variety of cuisines. The highways, infrastructure, medical care and business services are all excellent. Panama has the highest level of communications and infrastructure for phone, fax, internet and cellular communications in all of Central and South America and the Caribbean.

Jackets, Shoes, Skirts! Panama is a Shoppers Paradise! Whether you are looking for fashion, electronics or automobiles, panama has it all! Not only will you find a great selection but usually with better prices than you will often find at home. Panama has 4 Costco's and large "El Rey" grocery stores where you can find most everything.

Kids? If you are looking for a school for your kids, Panama has many excellent private schools to choose from. Panama also has 3 American accredited schools; International School, Oxford International and Balboa Academy Language.

Language - Spanish is the official language however English is widely spoken throughout the country.

Mountains, exotic rainforests, beaches, Indian cultures, historic sites, golf, rafting and more. Panama has many attractions in close proximity.

Near North America. Panama is only 4-5 hours from the U.S with daily flights from LA, NY, Newark, Miami, Houston and Orlando. Canada has weekly flights from Toronto and Montreal and more flights continue to be added.

Ownership of a home in Panama is at unbeatable prices! Foreigners can buy and sell Panamanian property legally and easily and are protected by exactly the same rights as Panamanian citizens.

Panamanians are amongst the friendliest people you will ever meet! Peaceful and fun loving, Panama is home to immigrants from all over the world. English is widely spoken as a second language.

Quality Construction. Homes are well built and tastefully designed. Panamanian architects attend U.S. construction and industry conventions to keep current and up-to-date with the latest construction styles.

Retiree incentive program is one of the best in the world. It includes discount air travel, eye exams, movies, restaurants, hotels and MORE! Retirees can even bring down all household goods to Panama tax free!

Safe - Panama has a very low crime rate in general and has the highest rating for tourist safety from the prestigious Pinkerton Intelligence Agency.

Taxes. There are NO property taxes on new construction in Panama.

U.S $ is the national currency. This is a great convenience as there is no need to change dollars. Officially the currency is the Balboa however it exists only in coinage and is identical in size to the U.S. coinage. Panama does not print Balboa bills but instead uses American paper currency. The currency also helps explain why Panama has such a low inflation rate and is the most stable economy in Latin America. Panama experienced less than 2% inflation increase over the past 40 years; some of the lowest known.

Variety - Panama City offers plenty of it! A cosmopolitan city with a combination of historic and ultra modern it is known for its lively nightlife with a wide variety of discos, pubs, nightclubs and casinos.

World class Sport fishing - Pinas Bay alone holds 250 world fishing records and there is excellent sport fishing in the Azuero Peninsula.

Xtreme Diving - Panama boasts excellent diving, with 7 fantastic diving spots including Coiba National Park, Pearl Islands, Isla Iguana, Bocas del Toro Archipelago and the Panama Canal.

Yachting destination - Panama is ideal!

Zone - Panama has the second largest free trade zone in the world. The Colon Free Zone is a gigantic entity at the Atlantic gateway to the Panama Canal. It is dedicated to re-export a huge variety of merchandise.

About the Author
Shelley Moore is the co-Founder of TropilandPanama, specializing in properties in the Azuero Peninsula, Panama. Being a real estate investor and living in Panama she co-founded TropilandPanama to help individuals and businesses alike find customized real estate solutions. To learn more visit TropilandPanama's website at www.tropilandpanama.com .

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