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Economy of Panama

The economy of Panama is a fully dollarized free market economy with a history of low inflation. It is based mainly on the services industry, heavily weighted toward banking, commerce, and tourism. The hand-over of the canal and military installations by the US has given rise to new construction projects.

Panama's economy is based primarily on a well-developed services sector that accounts for nearly 80% of its GDP. Services include the Panama Canal, banking, the Colón Free Trade Zone, insurance, container ports, and flagship registry, medical and health, and other business. The country's industry includes, manufacturing of aircraft spare parts, cements, drinks, adhesives, and textiles. Also the leading exports for Panama are bananas, shrimp, sugar, coffee, and clothing.

Sectors

Financial services

Panama is in the unusual position of having a substantial financial services sector despite being a dollarized economy that has no central bank to act as a lender of last resort to rescue banks that get in trouble. As a result, Panamanian banks are very conservatively run, with an average capital adequacy ratio of 15.6% in 2012, nearly double the legal minimum. The sector grew up providing trade finance for trade passing through the Canal, and later evolved into money laundering for the drug trade under Noriega.

Agriculture

Major agricultural products include bananas, cocoa beans, coffee, coconuts, timber,beef, chickens, shrimp, corn, potatoes, rice, soybeans, and sugar cane. In 2009 agriculture and fisheries made up 7.4% of Panama's GDP.

Panama is a net food importer and the U.S. is its main supplier. Agriculture employs a large number of Panamanians (in relation to agriculture's percentage of Panamanian GDP) because many farmers are engaged in subsistence farming.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Economy Of Panama"

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