Given the unique geography of connecting the Pacific and Atlantic oceans as well as North and South America, Panama literally connects the world and is the gateway to some 700 million individuals in Latin America. As countries around the globe begin the arduous process of restarting their economies, the Panamanian government is positioned ahead of most and has begun introducing incentives to jump-start their economic rebound.
Some of the new programs include:
- Long considered the gold standard for retirees with their generous pensionado program, Panama is making it easier for individuals from other countries to gain permanent residency and a rapid path to citizenship. Individuals are now allowed to apply for residency after they have purchased or have a contract to purchase, real estate for a minimum of $300,000. The process of applying for residency can be started on-line and should take about 30-days. Once it is time to finalize the papers, a Panamanian lawyer will be required to guide the application through the process.
- In addition to the $300,000 in real estate, individuals wishing for residency, citizenship, and a passport, can deposit a minimum of $500,000 in a Panamanian bank or $750,000 in the Panamanian stock market. The same rules apply for these options to gain residency.
- In an effort to increase tourism, the Panamanian government has introduced a program providing 100% tax relief to anyone who starts or purchases a business in tourism outside the urban area of Panama City. For example, start a tour company offering day fishing trips off the Darien coast or a surf school in the Caribbean and you will be exempted from tax. Buying a hotel or B&B also qualifies.
- While the Friendly Nations Visa is still viable, it is widely rumored changes to that program will be announced in December 2020. There will be different rules, but still very attractive to many wishing to move to Panama.
In addition, the government has been busy developing tools to make Panama attractive for investors through the stabilization of economic, political, and social aspects of daily life. Panama has always been a live-and-let-live country, but now that attitude is being strongly supported to attract foreign investments. Cultural programs to foster understanding among various groups and intolerance for strife has gone a long way in Panama.
The pandemic was devastating to most countries to varying degrees, but for Panama, it helped highlight why Panama’s economy is the strongest in Central and Latin America. With the national currency pegged to the US dollar, a diversified services sector, rapid growth GDP, Panama Canal, one of the world’s largest operating copper mines, blossoming tourism, and cutting-edge healthcare, Panama is where many individuals, seeking a more laid-back, amenity-filled lifestyle in near-perfect weather want to be.
In addition to an easier path to residency and citizenship, real estate opportunities have never been better. Here are some of the promotions on offer:
- Attractive developer sliding-scale financing depending on the initial down payment.
- Close-out pricing for residences in Casa Bonita and Royal Palm–both located directly on the Pacific Ocean or the Panama Canal.
- Guidance to access the fast-track permanent residency program with a $300,000 property purchase. We know how it’s done in 30-days or less.
- Discounts on all-cash purchases providing instant equity in property whether for an investment or primary residence. Savings range up to $48,000.
The pandemic has been difficult globally, but Panama is uniquely positioned to recover rapidly. Open for business since October 12, international travelers have been arriving without much challenge and multinational companies continue to like Panama for its welcoming attitude, great supply chain options, skilled workers, and pro-business government.
If you have considered moving to or investing in Panama, now is the time to capitalize on these new programs aimed at rapidly restarting the economy and attracting individuals who want to live in an atmosphere that values understanding. To gain up-to-date knowledge about Panama, I’d love for you to visit my new website, Boldly Panama. https://www.boldlypanama.com/.