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Best Bitcoin Card for Panama

Panama (officially: República de Panamá) is located in Central America on the Central American land bridge connecting South and North America. The country’s territory also includes offshore islands in the Gulf of Panama and the Gulf of Chìriquí. In addition to its coasts to the Caribbean Sea (part of the Atlantic Ocean) and the Pacific Sea, the country has a western border with Costa Rica and an eastern border with Colombia. At the narrowest point of the country, approximately in the middle, the Panama Canal runs in a depression. It is one of the most important waterways in the world and allows goods to be transported by ship between the Atlantic and the Pacific without having to bypass South America. The total area of the country is 75 517 km².

Western Panama is characterised by a central mountain range between 2 000 m and 3 000 m high, with the extinct Chìriquí volcano (3 478 m), the country’s highest mountain. On the eastern side of the channel, the mountain range runs parallel to the Atlantic coast at a height of up to 700 m, thus forming a weather divide between the Pacific and Atlantic parts of the country. On the Pacific side, a wider lowland, including the Darién, is situated in front of the mountainous region. The largest lake in the country, 430 km², is Gatun, which is part of the Panama Canal.

Political System

According to the constitution of 1972, Panama is a presidential republic. The head of state is directly elected by the people for five years (no re-election possible). He is both head of state and supreme holder of the executive branch (since July 2014 Juan Carlos Varela). Within his sphere of power lies the right to appoint and dismiss the cabinet.

The parliament consists of only one chamber, the Legislative Assembly (Asamblea Legislativa) with 71 deputies, who are elected every five years. Panama is divided into nine provinces and five autonomous administrative areas of the indigenous peoples (comarcas).

Economy

Panama is an open market economy and has important locational advantages due to its geographical location. Nevertheless, over a quarter of the population lives below the poverty line and the prosperity gap is extremely high.

The most important source of income for the Panamanian economy is the administration and operation of the Panama Canal. Jobs related to the operation of the Panama Canal account for a high proportion of services in the gross domestic product (GDP). The expansion of the Panama Canal began in 2009.

17% of the population lives from agriculture, although only 4% of GDP is generated in this sector. Fishing is dominated by shrimp, which are also exported. Copper and gold are mined in Panama and mahogany wood in the rainforests. Important industries in the country are sugar mills, fish processing, breweries and oil refineries. Cement, building materials, chemical products as well as electronics and electrical engineering are also produced in the country.

Panama’s most important export partner continues to be the USA, followed by Canada. In addition, particularly intensive trade is conducted with the Central American neighboring states and the Caribbean states. The main exports are chemical products, textiles and clothing, electronics and electrical engineering as well as food. Imports (chemical products, textiles and clothing, electronics, machinery and motor vehicles) come from the USA, the People’s Republic of China and other Central American countries.

Low registration costs for foreign shipping companies mean that numerous ship owners register their globally operating ships in Panama. Tourism, especially in connection with the Panama Canal, is an important source of foreign exchange. Panama’s currency is the Balboa (= 100 Centésimos).

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