Panama is the top recipient of FDI in Central America with an annual average of USD 1.75 billion of FDI flows between 2004 and 2009. Despite the slowdown observed in 2009 due to the weak international situation, the FDI flows started to rise again in 2010 and have maintained their dynamic growth since then. In 2014 FDI influx into the country reached over USD 5 billion, with an increase of over 21% for the first 6 months of the year compared to the first 6 months of 2013. This good performance is due to the advantageous regulations for FDI and the incentive measures that the country adopted in 2011.

Panama benefits from strong financial and investment freedoms: commercial operations are, in general, subject to transparent rules. Moreover, the tax rates for individuals and companies are moderate and there are significant customs and tax advantages in the Colon Free-Trade Zone (CFZ). The strategic geographical location of the country, its dollarized economy and its economic specialisation in the strategic sectors (banking, maritime traffic) are some of the many factors that attract FDI.

Information on the 2014 FDI influx in this region can be accessed in the Global Investment Trade Monitor published in January 2015 by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).