Panama is the southernmost country of Central America (5). The Panama Canal is one of the wonders of the world (6). It opened August 15, 1914 and was completed by the United States in 1920 (6). The Panama Canal plays a major role in America's economy (5).

Panama’s natural resources include copper, mahogany forests, shrimp and hydropower (2).

Panama’s economy rests primarily on a well-developed services sector that accounts for more than three-quarters of GDP. Services include operating the Panama Canal, logistics, banking, the Colon Free Zone, insurance, container ports, flagship registry and tourism (4).

Panama economy is structured as followed (in % of GDP): services 82%, industry 15.7% and agriculture 2.4% (2017) (13). Its agriculture products include bananas, rice, corn, coffee, sugarcane, vegetables, livestock and shrimp (13).

Panama’s industries include construction, brewing, cement, clays, lime, limestone, and sand, gravel, sugar milling, alcoholic beverages, sugar, ceramics, tropical clothing, cigarettes, hats, furniture, shoes, soap, edible oils, clothing, chemicals (2;4).

Panama’s top exports commodities include organic chemicals, pharmaceuticals, electrical machinery, equipment, footwear, clothing, perfume, accessories, machinery including computers, cosmetics, knit or crochet clothing, beverages, sprites, vinegar, rubber and rubber articles (14). Panama’s top imports commodities include fuel products, medicines, vehicles, iron and steel rods, cellular phones, capital goods, foodstuffs, consumer goods and chemicals (1;2).

Panama’s main ports and harbors are Balboa, Cristobal, Coco Solo, Colon and Vacamonte (2).

Trade Statistics
Panama was the United States' 35th largest goods trading partner in 2018, with $9.6 billion in total goods trade during 2017(7). In 2017, United-States was Panama’s main export partner (15).

On October 31, 2012 the U.S.-Panama Trade Promotion Agreement went into effect. The U.S.-Panama Trade Promotion Agreement will eliminate tariffs and other barriers to U.S. exports, promote economic growth, set high standards for the treatment of investments, provide a framework for resolution of investment or trade disputes, and expand trade between the two countries (10).

Trade Numbers

  • United States’ goods imports from Panama in 2018: $462 million (7)

  • United States’ goods exports to Panama in 2018: $6.9 billion (7)

  • U.S. goods and services trade with Panama totaled an estimated $9.6 billion in 2017 (7) 

  • The U.S. goods trade surplus with Panama was $6.4 billion in 2018, a 9.6% increase ($564 million) over 2017 (7)

Export Companies 
Panama owns 3 companies in the Tampa Bay area (11).

Keir Magoulas