Market Intelligence
Panama Central America Government, Law and Regulation

Panama Special Economic Zones

Panama created five new free trade zones. U.S. companies may access these zones to benefit exports to the region. 

Panama’s special economic zones directly support the Panamanian government’s effort to consolidate Panama as a logistic hub of the Americas. The established zones, clustered in the Metropolitan corridor along the Panama Canal, offer companies cost savings and a strategic location to reach customers throughout Latin America. To replicate the zones’ success, the government recently approved five new free trade zones in Panama City, Chiriqui Province, and Herrera Province.

Colon Free Trade Zone

The Colon Free Zone (CFZ), located on Panama’s Atlantic side, is the largest free-trade zone in the Western Hemisphere and one of the most effective distribution channels for accessing Latin American and Caribbean markets. Approximately 2,500 companies have operations in the CFZ, to mention a few well-known brands: APC, Aquatek, Black & Decker, Bose, Calvin Klein, Elizabeth Arden, Diesel, Fisher-Price, Evenflo, Hewlett Packard, and Westinghouse. The CFZ focuses on B2B activities related to the import and re-exports of products without adding value.

Pacifico Special Economic Zone

Panama Pacifico Special Economic, located on Panama’s Pacific side, the former Howard Air Force Base, covers an area of 1,400 hectares. Companies established in this special economic zone operate distribution centers, conduct light manufacturing, and back-office and call center services. Over 160 companies, including eight Fortune 500 companies, operate in Panama Pacifico, including 3M, Dell, and BASF. Main activities: distribution centers, high-tech manufacturing, aircraft maintenance services, multimodal and logistics services. For more information: https://www.panamapacifico.com/en/

New Free Trade Zones

In February 2020, the Panamanian government approved five new free trade zones located in Panama Eastern Area, Province of Herrera and the Province of Chiriqui.  These new zones support agroindustrial production, cluster for processing and manufacturing, merchandise storage and logistics services, biomass processing, urban waste management, and treatment as an energy generating source. The Chiriqui zone is located in the Bugaba District and supports companies focused on trade with Central America.

For more information contact your local U.S. Export Assistance Center

03/23/2021