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International Living, Ireland, November 21, 2006

Panama Ranks #1 as the Most Globalized Country in Latin America

November 21, 2006
Panama City, Panama

The Latin Business Chronicle has announced the results of its 2006 Latin American Globalization Index. It is no surprise to us that Panama earned the Number One position. Even though it earned the top position last year, Panama actually improved its score in this year’s ranking.

Each year, the Latin Business Chronicle compiles statistics of 19 countries in Latin America in six key categories that measure a country's links with the outside world:

  • Exports of goods and services as a percent of GDP.
  • Imports of goods and services as a percent of GDP.
  • Foreign direct investment (FDI) as a percent of GDP.
  • Tourism receipts as a percent of GDP.
  • Remittances as a percent of GDP.
  • Internet penetration

In this year’s study, Panama ranked higher than any other Latin American country in both exports and imports as a percent of GDP, and fourth in FDI and tourism receipts as a percent of GDP.

The high score in the trade category is largely due to the commercial activity at the Colon Free Zone, the second-largest free zone in the world (after Hong Kong). Panama, it should be noted, is also home to Latin America’s second-largest container port (also at Colon).

Panama’s high score in FDI is due to growing investments in sectors such as real estate, shipping and finance. The $500 million acquisition of BAC International Bank de Panama by GE Consumer Finance last year was the 22nd largest merger and acquisition deal in Latin America in 2005, according to Thomson Financial and the Latin Business Chronicle. The study also cited that Panama hosts the largest international banking center in Latin America, a major reinsurance center, the region’s largest company registry, the world’s largest shipping registry, and that the Panama Canal enjoys a growing maritime sector.

The country labeled the “least” globalized economy in Latin America? Surprisingly, that honor goes to Brazil, the largest country and largest economy in Latin America. Read the full report here.

Best Regards,

Brandon Clogston
International Living / Panama


Original Link: http://www.internationalliving.com/panama/alerts/11-21-06-panama-rank.html

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