Economic Growth in Panama in the 21st Century
Panama has one of the most dynamic and resilient economies in the Americas, and this is evident based on how much the country’s economy has grown in the past several decades. With a diverse and vibrant economy as well as a history of growth even in challenging economic times, the future is bright for Panama.
Despite its relatively small size, Panama has risen to become one of the fastest-growing economic powers in Central and South America. This expansion has been particularly strong during the past decade. Between 2006 and 2012, Panama’s gross domestic product increased by more than 8 percent, a testament to the country’s resilience and diversifying export trade.
Even during the global financial crisis that began in 2007 and lead to the global recession of 2009, Panama fared remarkably well. In 2009, at the height of the economic downturn, Panama’s economy grew by 3.2 percent, an enviable figure in challenging economic times. By 2010, Panama experienced economic expansion of 7.6 percent, followed by growth of 10.6 percent in 2011.
With figures like these, it’s easy to see why Panama is such a great place to work and a hotbed of foreign investment. However, things are poised to expand even further in the next decade.
Several major infrastructural projects, such as the expansion of the Panama Canal to facilitate increased maritime trade and the current construction and improvement of Panama City’s mass-transit system could further stimulate economic growth in Panama, create tens of thousands of jobs and result in even greater economic prosperity across the country.
A range of social programs have also been developed by the Panamanian government and will be implemented in the coming years. These initiatives are designed to help individuals and lower-income families acquire new skills, find new employment opportunities and facilitate social cohesion and growth, which will have further economic benefits for Panama.
Combined with strong interest from international organizations seeking new investment opportunities and expatriate professionals coming to Panama to find work, the Panamanian economy is set to experience unprecedented levels of expansion, particularly as the economies of the country’s closest trade partners such as the U.S., begin to stabilize.
Panama is experiencing a period of great transition, making it an ideal destination for bilingual, college-educated professionals to seek new opportunities. With such a bright economic future, there can be little doubt that Panama will continue to be a major player not only in Central America, but across the globe.