Panama Military, Economy and Transportation

Panama Military, Economy and Transportation


Economic overview: The Panamanian economy is based primarily on a developed service sector, which accounts for three-quarters of GDP. This sector includes the Panama Canal, banks, Colon Free Zone, insurance, container port, shipping register and tourism. The recession in the free zone and agricultural exports, high oil prices and the departure of the US military negatively affected economic growth in 2000. The government is preparing public works programs, tax reforms, new regional trade agreements, which should stimulate growth in 2001.
GDP: at purchasing power parity – $16.6 billion (2000 est.).
Real GDP growth rate: 2.5% (2000 est.).
GDP per capita: at purchasing power parity – $6,000 (2000 est.).
The composition of GDP by sectors of the economy: agriculture: 7%; industry: 16.5%; services: 76.5% (1999 est.).
Proportion of population below the poverty line: 37% (1999 est.).
Percentage distribution of family income or consumption: 10% of the poorest families account for: 1.2%; 10% of the wealthiest families account for: 35.7% (1997).
Inflation rate at consumer prices: 1.8% (2000 est.).
Labor force: 1.1 million people (2000 est.); note: shortage of skilled labor and excess of non-professional workers.
Employment structure: agriculture 20.8%, industry 18%, services 61.2% (1995 est.).
Unemployment rate: 13% (2000 est.).
Budget: revenues: $2.8 billion; expenses: $2.9 billion, including capital expenditures of $471 million (2000 est.).
Spheres of economy: construction, oil refining, brewing, production of cement and other building materials, sugar factories.
Growth in industrial production: 2% (2000 est.).
Electricity generation: 4.413 billion kWh (1999)
Sources of electricity generation: fossil fuels: 27.78%; hydropower: 71.65%; nuclear fuel: 0%; others: 0.57% (1999).
Electricity consumption: 4.049 billion kWh (1999)
Electricity export: 95 million kWh (1999).
Electricity import: 40 million kWh (1999).
Agricultural products: bananas, rice, corn, coffee, sugarcane, vegetables; livestock; shrimps.
Exports: $5.7 billion (free on board, 2000 est.)
Exports: bananas, shrimp, sugar, coffee, clothing.
Export partners: USA 43%, Germany 11%, Costa Rica 5%, Benelux 4%, Italy 4% (1999).
Imports: $6.9 billion (free on board, 2000 est.)
Imports: capital goods, crude oil, foodstuffs, consumer goods, chemicals.
Import partners: USA 39%, Colona Free Zone 14%, Japan 8%, Ecuador 6%, Mexico 5% (1999).
External debt: $7.56 billion (2000 est.) Economic aid recipient: $197.1 million (1995)
Donor of Economic Assistance:
Currency: Balboa; American dollar.
Currency code: RAV; USD.
Exchange rate: PAB/USD -1,000 (fixed exchange rate).
Fiscal year: calendar year.


Telecommunications Telephone lines: 396,000 (1997).
Mobile cell phones: 17,000 (1997).
Telephone system: domestic and international communications are well developed; internal: no data; international: 1 coaxial submarine cable; satellite earth stations 2 Intepsat (Atlantic Ocean); connection to the Central American Microwave Communication System.
Broadcast stations: AM – 101, FM – 134, shortwave – 0 (1998).
Radio receivers: 815,000 (1997).
Television broadcast stations: 38 (including repeaters) (1998).
Televisions: 510,000 (1997).
Internet country code: pa
Internet service providers: 6 (2000).
Number of users: 45,000 (2000).


Transport Railways: total: 355 km; broad gauge: 76 km (1.524 m gauge); narrow gauge: 279 km (0.914 m gauge).
Roads: total: 11,592 km; paved: 4,079 km (including 30 km of expressways); unpaved: 7,513 km (2000)
Waterways: 800 km suitable for shallow draft vessels; 82 km of the Panama Canal.
Pipelines: for crude oil – 130 km (2001).
Ports and harbors: Balboa, Vacamonte, Cristo Bal, Coco Solo, Manzanillo (part of the Colon area).
Merchant navy: total: 4,711 ships (of 1,000 tons displacement and over) with a total displacement of 111,515,984 gross register tons / 169,655,363 long tons of gross tonnage; ships of various types: bulk carriers – 1,381, cargo ships – 925, chemical tankers – 314, combined bulk carriers – 71, combined ore and oil carriers – 18, container carriers – 525, liquefied gas carriers – 193, vessels for livestock transportation – 5, multifunctional heavy-duty ships – 12, passenger ships – 41, cargo-passenger ships – 4, oil tankers – 544, railway wagon ships – 2, refrigerated ships – 297, ferries for the transport of loaded vehicles – 106, coastal passenger ships – 36, specialized tankers – 29, cargo ships for the transport of vehicles – 208; note: including foreign ships,
Airports: 107 (2000 est.).
Airports with paved runways: total: 42; over 3,047 m: 1; from 2438 to 3047 m:1; from 1,524 to 2,437 m: 5; from 914 to 1523 m:13; less than 914 m: 22 (2000 est.).
Airports with unpaved runways: total: 65; from 914 to 1523 m: 13; less than 914 m: 52 (2000 est.).

Armed forces

Branches of the armed forces: in accordance with the amendment to the constitution, the armed forces are disbanded, but the security forces remain (Panama Public Forces, includes the national police, the national maritime service, the national air service). See to know more about Panama Military.
Conscription age:
Total military manpower: men 15 to 49 years old. 775 966 ​​(2001 est.).
Eligible for military service: men aged 15 to 49: 530,916 (2001 est.).
Number of persons reaching military age each year:
Military spending in dollar terms: $128 million (1999).
Military spending as part of GDP: 1.3% (1999). Armed Forces – Note: On February 10, 1990, the government of President ENDARA (EN-DARA) disbanded the Panamanian Armed Forces and reformed the security apparatus, creating the Panama Public Forces; in October 1994, the Legislative Assembly of Panama approved a constitutional amendment banning the creation of a permanent armed force, but allowing the temporary creation of special police units to counter acts of “external aggression.”

International Issues

International issues International disputes: no.
Illicit drugs: an important transit point for cocaine and an important center for laundering drug proceeds; coca production is no longer recorded; control over financial transactions is improving, but official corruption remains a big problem; FATF (International Money Laundering Organization) accuses Panama of insufficient cooperation.

Panama Military