Panama is one of the largest and fastest growing economies in Central America. It is the first offshore finance and per capita consumer of the region. Manufacturing and shipping registries are the main activities that generate jobs and tax revenues in the country. A services-based economy, which includes operating the Panama Canal, banking, and tourism, Panama is the second most competitive economy in Latin America. Despite the recent economic boom with growth in real GDP, Panama has the second worst income distribution in Latin America.
In 2014, ITC signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Secretaría de integración económica centroamericana (SIECA) to support Central America economic development and regional integration. In this context, over the next 3 years ITC work in Central America will mainly focus on regional initiatives that address cross-cutting issues including trade information and market intelligence, regional branding and women economic empowerment. ITC is also partnering with the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) to strengthen Trade Promotion Organizations on results-based-management.