Special Economic Zones Overview
Panama has created laws and regulations allowing local and foreign investors to establish companies in segregated special areas with a variety of fiscal, migratory and labor incentives with the main objective of developing different kind of activities and to promote international trade, manufacturing and complimentary services. These are called Special Economic Zones.
Colon Free Zone is a free trade zone whose objective is to serve as a platform for redistributing wholesale and tax exempted goods from Asia, Europe and North America to Latin America and the Caribbean. Located at the Atlantic side of the country, it is supported by a variety of logistics and financial services that leverages its connectivity to improve the cargo flow to regional markets.
Panama Pacifico is a former U.S. Air Force base at the Pacific side that has become a new model of special economic zone aiming to become a hub for high-tech manufacturing, logistics services, commercial activities, and non-traditional services, with an eco-friendly residential area. A joint consortium between a government agency and a private developer develops an aggressive master plan that includes dedicated areas for warehousing and distribution centers, manufacturing, commercial offices, airport operations, and residential. An integrated system that gathers 11 government agencies facilitate the establishment of about 120 companies currently operating in the zone and providing a variety of goods and services to international customers.
Panamanian Free Zones have a special regime which contributes to the economic development of the country and promotes foreign investment. These free zones are governed by Law 32 of April 5, 2011 which applies to the entire free zone area, its promoters, its operators and any company that establishes within any of them performing activities of any of these categories: Manufacturing, assembly, processing of finished or semi-finished products, services, high technology, higher education, health services, scientific research, logistics services, environmental services and general services.