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Panama. Presented By: Kadell James Carl Krimminger Monica Washington. Panama. Panamanian Flag. Coat of Arms. Panama is often called the Funnel of World Commerce connecting North & South America. It’s where cultures come together & the America’s meet. Demographics.

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Presented By:

Kadell James

Carl Krimminger

Monica Washington


Panamanian Flag

Coat of Arms

Panama is often called the Funnel of World Commerce connecting North & South America

It’s where cultures come together & the America’s meet


  • Capital: Panama City

  • Official Language: Spanish

  • Government: Constitutional Democracy

  • In 2008, population est. @ 3,309,679.

  • Capital: Panama City Pop. 451,000

  • Area: 29,157 sq mi

  • Water about 2.9% of the total area

  • GDP in 2008 $42.446 billion

  • Currency: Balboa and US dollars

Ethnic Groups

  • 58.1% Mestizo14% Black and Mulatto6.7% Amerindian8.6% White5.5% Asian7.1% other (2000)

  • Religions:

    • Roman Catholic 85%

    • Protestant 15%

About 38% of the land is part of the Rain Forest. The Panama Canal is 50 miles long, dividing the country into eastern & western regions. And the once American territory was 5 miles on each side of the canal.

The whole country is a little smaller than South Carolina surface wise.


Panama Firemen marching in a parade

Shop owner – most were Hindu descent

Tugboat being repaired in dry dock

Power Distance Index

  • Panama: High PDI

    • inequalities of power and wealth have been allowed to grow within the society

  • U.S: Low PDI

    • society de-emphasizes the differences between citizen's power and wealth

  • Highest PDI of all Latin American countries

How PDI effects business…


Individualism vs. Collectivism

  • Panama: Collective

    • Strong group relationship

    • Loyalty very important

  • U.S: Individualistic

    • Individuals and their immediate family

How individualism/collectivism effects business…..


Masculinity vs. Femininity

  • Panama: Masculine/Feminine

    • Mixture of aggressiveness and sensitivity

  • U.S: Masculine

    • Aggressiveness and assertiveness

How Masculinity/Femininity effects business…



Uncertainty Avoidance

  • Panama: High UAI

    • Low tolerance for uncertainty and ambiguity

  • Reasons

    • 94% Roman Catholic

    • Attitude: “There can only be one Truth and we have it”

  • U.S: Average UAI

    • More accepting of change & opinions

How Uncertainty Avoidance effects business…


Final Business Tips….

  • Men’s Dress: conservative suits

  • Women’s Dress: non-revealing dress or shirt and


  • Business cards: Spanish & English

  • Dining: host at one end, guest of honor at other end

  • Begin conversations with “small talk”

  • Good conversation topics: family, sports, hobbies

  • Bad conversation topics: race problems, Canal Zone,


Why Bring your money to Panama?

Why come Panama?

  • Open door policy on foreign investment

  • Economy based in U.S. dollar

  • Low inflation rate

  • No foreign exchange risk

Factors that Attract Business

  • Government policies and ideas

  • Colon Free Zone

  • Panama Canal

  • Tax Incentives and Labor Cost


  • Democratically operated

    • Lends itself to capitalism

  • President Torroijos

    • Plans to expand Panama Canal and increase economic development

  • Trade Liberization Program

    • Decreased tariff ceiling

Colon Free Trade Zone

  • Re-Exports a wide variety of merchandise across Latin America and various areas

  • No tariffs and quotas in “free zone”

    • no sales tax

    • no production tax

    • exemption on income derived from abroad

    • no tax duty on imports to re-exports from the free zone to foreign countries

Panama Canal

  • Currently undergoing improvements to area that are estimated at about $1 billion

  • Opportunity for hotels and tourism

  • Business possibilities from canal expansion

    • Transportation systems

    • Ship owners, repairs, etc.

    • New residential construction

Panama Canal

Tax Incentives and Labor

  • Minimum Wage $1.22

    • $350 average monthly salary

  • Labor force of 961,403

  • Investment Stability Law

  • Special Tax Incentives for Tourism

    • 100% tax exemption on income and property for 15 years

Panama City

Panama City

New construction in Panama City

Muchas Gracias, Alguna Pregunta?


Hofstede, Geert (2005). Cultures and Organizations: Software of the Mind. 2nd ed.

Mitchell, Charles (2002). A Short Course in International Business Culture. 3rd ed.

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