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Investment Opportunities in Panama

Investment Opportunities in Panama

Investment opportunities in Panama are rising at a very high rate and are appreciated as of today by the whole world. Panama has always stood apart from Central and South Americas, with benefits like its dollar based economy and stable political situation, sustained by its Canal, Free Trade Zone, and vast and stable international banking community. All of these factors along with the initiative in the tourism sector are encouraging all types of investment opportunities in Panama.

There are as well other factors that are encouraging real estate investment opportunities in Panama.

  • Panama has been consistently rated in the top ten for the best retirement locations worldwide, with excellent incentives for retirees
  • Not only retirees but also young people from all over the work are finding Panama a great place to earn good money and raise a family.
  • A welcoming community
  • Safe environment
  • Low crime statistics
  • A great place to raise children

All appeal to the increasing number of expatriates and baby boomers from locations like North America and Europe who are looking for a different opportunity to start a new life or for retirement. Relocating young people to retire in Panama is definitely fuelling increased interest in real estate and investment opportunities in Panama.

Panama fits the requirements of many.

Owning a second home, making an investment or retiring in a tropical paradise, can become a reality in Panama. Whatever your preference there is a something for everyone. The advantage that foreign source income is not taxable in Panama is making many believe that Panama offers a terrific package.

Some of the most used immigration statuses for investors in Panama are shown in the next table. If you are interested in immigrating to Panama, we can put you in contact with the best legal advisors in Panama.




Self Solvency

• $200K CD for 2 years; or
• Buy $200K property; or
• Buy $80K property plus $120K CD

Permanent Residency, and the Right to apply for Panamanian Nationality & Passport after 5 years


Pension of $500/ month

Permanent Residency & extensive discount program

Small Business Investor

$100K in Company & hire 3 Panamanian employees

Permanent Residency and the Right to apply for Panamanian Nationality & Passport after 5 years

Agricultural Investor

Agricultural Business

Permanent Residency and the Right to apply for Panamanian Nationality & Passport after 5 years

Second Passport

5 year CD with BNP producing a minimum of $750/month in interest

Travel Passport, renewable every 5 years

Panama City is located on the Pacific Ocean but is only an hour and a half drive from the Caribbean coast. A modern cosmopolitan metropolis, Panama City has high-rise buildings overlooking the Bay, and a range of apartments and condominiums available to suit all budgets, most with ocean views. These all make excellent investments for rental and potential appreciation. Panama City boasts three US style shopping malls complete with all the top Brands from around the world.

The Casco Viejo, or Old City section of Panama City is reminiscent of the French Quarter in New Orleans or Manhattan’s SoHo and abounds with aging graceful buildings that are crying out for renovation. The Panamanian government has extensive incentives for the restoration of the historic Casco Viejo district and encourage investment here;. There are already restaurants, retailers in the area, and apartments are tucked into the graceful squares between the museums, National Theatre and the Presidential Palace: beside the “French” Plaza house there is a restaurant and jazz club. An investment here will enable you to live in history and the buildings can only appreciate in the years to come. The following is a list of the incentives offered by the Government for investment in the Cosco Viejo; Incentive Law for Casco Viejo

The Decree-Law N° 9, by means of which incentives special rules were established for the restoration and revaluation of the Casco Antiguo of Panama, was issued on August 27, 1997. The due date for this Decree-Law was August 2002. However, in December 2001, the National Assembly of Panama approved a modification proposal to the above mentioned Decree-Law, by which the expiring dates are extended for the majority of the established incentives. A summary of the Decree-Law N° 9 of August 27, 1997 as well as its more relevant aspects follows:

  1. Former laws in force in Casco Antiguo are modified in order to extend the protection area, so it could include part of the neighborhood of Santa Ana, Salsipuedes, and part of the Terraplén.
  2. The classification of the protected properties is developed in detail, together with the usage and type of restoration that will be permitted to carry out in such properties, depending on their architectural, historical, and environmental characteristics.
  3. A system of mortgage loans with preferred interests is established for the restoration of real estate in the area of San Felipe.
  4. The property owners in Casco Antiguo will be exempt from paying the Real Estate Tax owed at the moment of the transfer (sale) of the property.
  5. The profits derived from the transfer of real estate will be exempt from paying the Income Tax.
  6. The land and improvements of restored buildings will be exempt from paying the Real Estate Tax for a period of thirty (30) years counted as from the restoration of the property.
  7. The first sale or sales that take place after the completion of the building´s restoration will be exempt from the Real Estate Transfer Tax.
  8. The profits generated by commercial, professional or industrial activities which are carried out and have their effects in the Casco Antiguo, are exempt from the Income Tax for ten (10) years counted from the restoration of the occupied property.
  9. The equipment and materials used in the construction, restoration, and equipping, will be exempt from the Import Duties.
  10. The tenants of the properties in Casco Antiguo can deduct from their Income Tax the rates of rental for a period of five (5) years.
  11. Those buildings destined for public parking will be exempt from the Income Tax for a period of ten (10) years.
  12. An indemnity payment is established for those tenants of apartments in Casco Antiguo who must vacate the property because of a restoration project. The restoration project developer will receive a transferable fiscal credit with a value equivalent to the payment done.
  13. In order to benefit from these incentives, the investments must be made during the ten (10) years following the establishment of the Decree-Law, that is, until August 2007.

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In Addition, there are still opportunities to purchase large properties on the former US military bases. These properties, which are set among wide avenues, green lawns and coconut palms, have recently been converted into small hotels, apartments and palatial homes. The locations are a stone's throw from a rain forest but well-positioned close to the national airport and intercity bus terminal.

Suburban areas are increasing in popularity, particularly due to the new bridge over the Canal, Centennial Bridge (Puente Centenario), that opens up the areas of Arraijan, Chorrera and the shores of Gatun Lake for development.

Outside of Panama City, excellent properties are available for developers and individuals. The more remote the location the more reasonable the cost but be aware that you may be far from utilities or roads.

An hour or so along the Inter-American Highway, there are Pacific beaches where small beach communities abound; above them higher mountain locations combine cooler temperatures with ocean views. Retreats in mountain sites like El Valle and Altos de Santa Maria are very popular with expatriates while the up-market resorts of Punta Barco, Vistamar, Buenaventura and Coronado with its elegant beach properties and golf course appeals both to expatriates and Panama city weekenders.

In the cool Chiriqui highlands, the jewel in the crown is Boquete , voted one of the top four best retirement destinations in the Western Hemisphere by well-known international magazines. Due partly to its beauty and temperate climate, buying real estate in Boquete is the choice for many foreign retirees and there is a growing community of expatriates. Other nearby areas like Volcan, Potrerillos and Caldera are attracting major investor interest.

Last, but not least, are the islands – the Pearl Islands – now famous because of the Survivor reality show, the Veraguas Islands including the Coiba paradise, declared National Marine Park, and the Parida Islands, off the Pacific coast of Chiriqui; also there is the beautiful carribbean islands which extend all the way from Bocas Del Toro along the border of Costa Rica all the way down toward Colombia. We have extensive listings ovailable of these properties and all offer incredible opportunities for purchasing land to develop hotel & residential resorts, marinas & golf clubs in island dream locations.