Hotspot for Investment in Latin America is Panama

By: Simon Hurst

A welcoming community, safe environment, low crime statistics, excellent incentives, together with the natural beauty and ethnic diversity that is Panama, the isthmus of Panama appeals to the increasing number of baby boomers from North America and Europe who are looking for a different option for retirement, coupled with investors and adventurers the world over, Panama has something for everyone.

Opportunities in Panama for both business and investment are increasing as the potential is appreciated. Panama stands alone in its unique set of laws and openness, boasting a well-established dollar-based economy, stable political situation and economic growth, sustained by its Canal (and its subsequent expansion), the Colon Free Zone (the second largest Free Zone in the world), and an unparalleled international financial system the second largest international banking centre in the world after Switzerland, with more than 150 banks from 35 countries. A sophisticated CBD, healthcare system, solid infrastructure and the highest level of communications infrastructure in all of Latin America and the Caribbean.

Panama
Is one of the top three countries in Latin America for quality of life
Offers the best retiree incentive program in the world
boasts first-rate medical services at the only Johns Hopkins International Medical Centre in Latin America
has a perfect climate of 25-30 degrees centigrade year round
Because of its unique geographical positioning Panama does not suffer natural disasters such as hurricanes, earthquakes etc
Foreign investors can operate with the same rights and incentives as locals
Panamanian tariffs are the lowest of all the Americas
Panama is a shoppers paradise, be it Chanel, Gucci, Canon, LG or Toyota
Private education is excellent with many international schools
Less than 2% inflation increase over the past forty years
No property taxes on new constructions
Cost-of-living is low, especially with the exchange rate
If you combine these unique offerings with the advantage that foreign source income is not taxable in Panama, many are concluding that Panama offers a terrific package.
In 2003 for the first time tourism topped the Canal and the Free Trade Zone as the country's top revenue earner.
The growth in tourism leads to increasing investor interest in this sector and there are incredible opportunities for tourist related services and accommodations, encouraged by government incentives in a number of designated areas, called Special Tourism Zones, of which Santa Catalina, Veraguas, Panama is one
IPAT, the national tourism bureau has zoned this area precisely because of its outstanding natural beauty and as a result it will soon see a strong rise in interest from further a field. It has been a best-kept secret by Panamanians for a long time and is now beginning to seduce many a traveler, adventurer, investor, and developer. Growth in the area is inevitable; therefore, those who seek to invest early will reap the largest returns.
This is where Big World Villas, the unique development project is due to celebrating its ground breaking procedure in early 2008.
It is the first such development in the area and offers investors a relaxed lifestyle surrounded by pristine coastline, untouched rain forest and endless opportunities for outdoor adventure.

Santa Catalina is a beautiful town located 300km south-west of Panama City and is the best the best access point for the well-renowned Coiba National Park a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is also known for having one of the best surf breaks in Central America whilst boasting breathtaking scenery and an outstanding natural environment. World-class fishing is plentiful along the coastline and surrounding islands. Marine activities such as sport fishing, scuba diving, snorkeling and jet skiing opportunities are said to be some of the best in the world.

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