Population
4,034,119 (2016 estimate)

Gross Domestic Product
$87.373 billion (2017 estimate)

Inflation Rate
0.4% (November 2017)

Currency
Panamanian Balboa (PAB)

Calling Country Code
+507

Time Zone
UTC – 5:00 (Eastern Standard Time)

Panama City (Capital)

Panama, officially called the Republic of Panama (República de Panamá), is a country in Central America. It is bordered by Costa Rica to the west, Colombia to the southeast, the Caribbean Sea to the north and the Pacific Ocean to the south. The capital and largest city is Panama City, whose metropolitan area is home to nearly half of the country’s 4 million people.

A significant portion of its GDP comes from the Panama Canal tolls, although commerce, banking, and tourism are major and growing sectors. Since 2010, it has been the second-most competitive economy in Latin America, according to the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Index. Covering around 40% of its land area, Panama’s jungles are home to an abundance of tropical plants and animals – some of them found nowhere else on the planet.

The country’s economy, because of its key geographic location, is mainly based on a well-developed service sector, especially commerce, tourism, and trading.

Since the early 20th century, the country has built (with the revenues from the canal tolls) the largest Regional Financial Center (IFC) in Central America, with consolidated assets more than three times its own GDP. The banking sector employs more than 24,000 people directly. Financial intermediation contributed 9.3% of GDP. Stability has been a key strength of its financial sector, which has benefited from the country’s favorable economic and business climate. Banking institutions report sound growth and solid financial earnings. As a regional financial center, the nation exports some banking services, mainly to Central and Latin America, and plays an important role in the country’s economy.