Panama Trade, Exports and Imports

By: EconomyWatch Content   Date: 16 March 2010

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Panama, situated between North and South America, has a flourishing trade because of its strategic location. The Panama Canal, which links the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean, is an important hub of several international trade transactions. In fact, Panama’s trade is an important supporter of the nation’s economy.

 

A majority of Panama’s trade transactions are carried out in the Colón Free Trade Zone, which is one of the biggest free trade zones in the world. According to estimates by the Colón Zone Management, the region accounted for about 64% of Panama’s imports and 92% of its exports during 2007. 

Panama Trade, Exports and Imports: Overview

 

Panama entered the Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT) with the US in 1982. The agreement is intended to protect US private investment in the nation and also assist Panama in developing its economy. Additionally, a free-trade agreement was signed by the US and Panama in 2007, although both countries are yet to implement it. The US is a principal trade partner of Panama, accounting for about one-third of its imports and exports. Major trade partners of Panama and their share in its total trade, according to the CIA reports for 2009, include:

 

Exports
Imports

US

39.2%

US

29.6%

Netherlands

10.7%

Costa Rica

5%

Costa Rica

5.8%

China

5%

Sweden

5.4%

Japan

4.2%

 

The net export figure for Panama during 2009 was $11.41 billion, which was mainly from the following commodities:

 

  • Bananas

  • Coffee

  • Clothing

  • Shrimp

  • Sugar

     

During the same year, Panama’s imports exceeded exports by $2.21 billion, due to the nation’s dependence on capital and consumer goods. Panama’s current trade scenario is expected to improve significantly as a result of America’s endeavor to reconstruct the Panama Canal. The reconstruction project, which commenced in 2007 with an estimated cost of US$5.3 billion, is expected to revamp the Panama trade sector by 2014.

 

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