On October 10, 1502, Christopher Columbus discovered the Isthmus of Panama. Several weeks later he came upon a beautiful protected bay, which he baptized with the name Portobelo. It was on Panamanian soil that Spain founded the first city on solid ground: Santa María la Antigua del Darién. On September 25, 1513, Vasco Núñez de Balboa discovered the southern sea and connected the Pacific Ocean with the Caribbean Sea for the first time, forever sealing Panama’s fate and strategic importance as the bridge of the world.
In 1821 the isthmus seceded from the Spanish crown and became part of Simón Bolivar’s Gran Colombia and on November 3, 1903 seceded from Colombia aided by the Government of United States of America and became an Independent sovereign country.
Today Panama is known for its natural beauty, great fishing, numerous beaches, and the more than one thousand paradise islands that make up its archipelagos and for its friendly, festive and hospitable people. The magic that captivated adventurers over 500 years ago still awaits anyone who wants to experience Panama.
Panama has a Tax System that is based on the Territorial Principle of Taxation. This principle that Panama has embraced means that only Panama-sourced income is taxed.
An entity or an individual, which has its activities or assets outside of Panama, will automatically escape taxation. On the contrary, an entity or an individual, which engages in a business activity within Panama, receiving Panamanian sourced income, will be subject to pay income tax annually.
Besides its incredible history, Panama has an economic performance that surpasses every other country in the Latin American region; in fact Panama enjoys a Baa2 rating by Moody’s, BBB rating by S&P and BBB by Fitch, hence it is one of the few countries in Latin America to enjoy investment grade.
Panama has become one of the top choices for people that want to retire and/or invest. Consider the following elements:
- The legal tender in Panama is the U.S. Dollar, which derives in an stable economy;
- The reliability and efficiency of it services (legal, banking, financial, cargo, medical care, etc.);
- No income tax is levied upon income received or paid to you by a foreign source and no taxes are levied on interest earned on savings accounts and CD’s;
- Panama has very low crime rates compared to other countries in the region;
- No guerrillas or terrorist activities;
- The government encourages foreigners to invest and retire in Panama. In fact, you will find laws that encourage foreign investment and protect it as well. No wonder why many foreign companies have established offices to operate in or from Panama. To name a few: Dell, 3M, VF Corp., Lacoste, plus over 100 Multinational companies from all over the Globe.
- Discount to retirees for services ranging from medical visits to utility bills
- A renown International Banking Centre;
- The second largest Free Zone in the world (next to Hong Kong)
- Daily and direct flights from Panama City to several U.S. major cities such as Los Angeles, San Francisco, Houston, New York, Miami, to name a few and daily flights to European cities such as Amsterdam, Paris, Madrid and Frankfurt.
Other elements you should consider are:
- In Panama you will find world-class dining and hotels, excellent shopping malls with every imaginable luxury at half or less of what you pay in the US or Europe;
- Panama has a recorded 940 species of birds, surpassing the United States and Canada together!!!!;
- Panama offers one of the best deep fishing and surfing in the world;
- More than 1,500 islands off the country’s coast, some of which offer snorkeling and diving opportunities that rival any found in Central America.
- And of course, the Canal and its recently inaugurated expansion, one of the most important engineering accomplishments in the history of the world.