Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Celebrities Relocating to Panama...

It was reported last week that numerous celebrities and other internationals are gravitating to Panama due to its charm and affordability. Panama’s unique proximity to both the Caribbean and Pacific are factors in allowing fabulous weather and scenery….

The Caribbean properties, in places like Portobelo, are waterfront and mountainous. Portobelo is an ex-Spanish fortress town that has attracted many new residents. People are also fascinated by areas like Casco Viejo, the site of many scenes in the new James Bond flick, Quantum of Solace. Companies like Nikki Beach and Hard Rock also have plans for large-scale developments in the near future.

People are drawn to Panama due to the fact that it is incredibly affordable, has a stable economy and low crime rate, as well as over 300 sunny days a year. It is the fastest-growing economy in Latin America and the 2nd largest free-trade zone in the world, slated to launch thousands more jobs. Property inquiries are up 150% from this time last year….

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Monday, October 27, 2008

Panama Canal Reports Growth and Development

Last week, further good news for Panama’s development emerged – the Panama Canal has hit record-high revenues in 2008.

The 2008 income for the Panama Canal Authority hit a record high of 2.007 billion dollars, with the fiscal year ending September 30, 2008.

According to numbers by the PCA, the numbers for 2008 were up 14% from 2007, which resulted in income of 1.76 billion dollars.

The Panama Canal Authority’s Vice-President of Canal Operation, Manuel Benites, has reported that the organization is doing surprisingly well considering the global fiscal crisis. According to Benites, the Canal reported increases in passenger vessel transits up 17.6%.

Further growth is anticipated due to the increased time required for ships to cross the Canal, which measures 80 kilometers. Current wait time for cargo ships is 31.55 hours, up from 27.84 hours in 2007. The PCA credits the wait time to maintenance on botht he Pedro Mighel and Miraflores locks. On a brighter note – the number of accidents fell from 1.09% to .68% per thousand transits.

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Saturday, October 25, 2008

James Bond Goes Panama...

The newest James Bond film, Quantum of Solace, features our own Panama in many parts of the film….

The film has been filmed in fabulous parts of Mexico, Panama and Chile. The flying segments were filmed in USA and Baja, California over the Sea of Cortes and the desert. The setting of the film is portrayed as Bolivia, but is actually parts of Panama and Chile.

The Quantum of Solace, the 22nd Bond film, stars Daniel Craig as Bond and co-stars Ukrainian actress, Olga Kurylenko. The film “continues the high-octane adventures of James Bond in Casino Royale”, according to producers.

The film features Scenes in Chile’s Atacama Desert and the Cerro Paranal Observatory. The cast and crew also took over many areas of Panama including: the old quarter of Casco Viejo, the Bay of Panama, the Panama Canal, the Club de Clases y Tropas (General Noriega’s former oceanside palace) and in parts of Colon, on the Caribbean side of the country. In the Casco Viejo scenes, members of the Embera tribe wear bowler-hats as extras.

The 1987 James Bond film, “The Living Daylights”, starring Timothy Dalton as 007 was also filmed in Panama.

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Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Panama Development - Diamond Exchange will add to Growth

It was announced on Sunday that the Panama Diamond Exchange will launch Friday, October 24th. The ceremony on Friday will include government ministers and international leaders of the diamond and jewelry industries.

Leaders slated to attend the opening ceremony include:
  • Avi Paz – President of World Federation of Diamond Bourses (WFDB)
  • Gaetano Cavalieri – President of The World Jewelry Confederation
  • Eli Izhakoff – Chairman of World Diamond Council
  • Jacob Banda – President of Diamond Dealers Club of New York
  • Alex Popov – President of Moscow Diamond Exchange

The Panama Diamond Exchange is the first and only complex dedicated to gemstones and jewelry in Latin America. The new exchange will encourage the development of Panama as an international hub for diamonds. The Panamanian government plans to grant the exchange Free Zone status.

The new exchange will be located near the business center in Panama City, close to the main international airport. The facility will be a secure building that will house offices, showrooms, gem labs and banks. The Panama Diamond Exchange will be Latin America’s only member in the World Federation of Diamond Bourses.

The Diamond Exchange is among many exciting growth and development initiatives in Panama!!! Are you interested in retiring or relocating to Panama? Check out our Panama properties at for more information about our land deals outside of Panama City!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Panama Banking is Good for Growth...

Reuters reported this week that Panamanian President, Martin Torrijos, is reporting a strong Panama banking system, amid the current global credit crisis.

Torrijos pledged preparation, responsibility, and management in order to insure that the country stays in a positive financial position. At an appointment ceremony for new Banking Supervisor Olegario Barrelier, an experienced banker.

Barrelier cited that Panama’s liquidity is at 58% of total deposits, with a total of liquid assets at $13.54 billion US dollars. Fortunately, Panama is not reliant on external funding. Advantages are due to the fact that Panama has no sub-prime mortgage market and is aggressively tightening up current credit. The banking environment is now home to over 80 international banks, and is one of the largest banking centers in Latin America including banks like HSBC, Citigroup, and BBVA.

Make your investment here in Panama! It is a great time to relocate or retire in Panama – the US dollar buys a significantly better quality of life. Despite the global financial crisis, Panama’s economy is expected to post a growth of 9.5 percent this year. Make your move – visit to see our incredible land specials in Panama!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Panama Canal Expansion Continues...

It was just announced that the Panama Canal expansion has justified a $400 million loan. Inter-American Development Bank will be handling the loan.

Panama Canal Authority administrator Alberto Aleman stated that the IDB loan approval demonstrates the confidence and security of the Panama Canal Authority’s expansion project “despite the world financial crisis”.

The Panama Canal Expansion project is a $5.25 billion construction project that is scheduled for completion in 2014. The project will include two additional locks that will double the 50-mile Canal’s capacity.

The Panama Canal is responsible for 5% of the world’s cargo shipping. The Panama Canal Authority is expected to borrow up to $2.3 billion from 2009-2011 for financing and continuation of the Canal expansion. The Canal will pay back loans through additional taxation of 3.5% for shipping tolls.

The Panama Canal expansion project is evidence of the growth here in Panama! If you are interested in moving or relocating to Panama, visit our site to see our special land deals in Panama! Go to for more information about relocating!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Further Expansion and Development in Panama

It was announced that there is a third contract open for bidding to expand the Panama Canal and its access to the Pacific Ocean.

The latest contract, according to the Panama Canal Authority, is for the removing and disposing of 8 million cubic meters of material that takes up a total of 4.2 miles of the Canal. The contract will be awarded through competitive bidding placed by contractors. The cleanup initiatives will include vast deposits of ammunition and explosive that were deposited from former military presence in the area.

The Panama Canal expansion began in 2007 and is a $5 billion plus project for the country that is slated for completion in 2014. The newest expansion will mark a 100 year anniversary from its initial construction.

The Canal provides access through both the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans. The Panama Canal project began in 1904, and was initiated by the U.S. government, reaching completion in 1914. Control of the Panama Canal was handed over to the Panamanian government in December 1999.

The Canal currently allows for large container ships with up to 5,000 containers to pass through from ocean to ocean. The latest expansion will allow ships as large as carrying 12,000 containers passage through the Canal.

Another sign that Panama’s growth continues!!! Keep checking out our blog to read about development and economic progress in Panama, and reasons to move or retire to this emerging nation. Visit for information about living in Panama and to see our incredible land deals!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Panama Canal Founder Honored with Space Trip

The Panama Canal hosted NASA Astronaut Dr. Scott Parazynski this week. Dr. Parazynski presented the Panama Canal Authority with a Panama flag and a collection of photos in honor of Col. David DuBose Gaillard, an ancestor of Dr. Parazynski.

Colonel Gaillard was the a member of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and the man faced with the challenge of cutting through the Continental Divide to create the Panama Canal. The nine-mile strip of land that was to be cut to create the Canal was originally named the “Culebra Cut”. Because Gaillard died in 1913, before the Canal was completed, the project was renamed the “Gaillard Cut” in his honor.

Dr. Parazynski, a descendent of Gaillard, took a VIP tour of the Canal following the official ceremony at the Miraflores Locks. Parazynski claims that there are many similarities in the challenges that face both the space and oceanic areas of study.

Parazynski flew Gaillard’s items in his most recent space mission and has returned them to the country of Panama to celebrate Gaillard. Dr. Parazynski has logged five shuttle flights and a total of 1381 flight hours. He is a recipient of the NASA Exceptional Service Medal, the NASA Distinguished Service Medal and the NASA Space Flight Medal for performing a spacewalk to repair a space station solar array.

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