Panama is a presidential republic located in the isthmus between Central and South America. With a total territory of 75.420 square kilometers, Panama is almost the same size as South Carolina. Geographically, Panama is dominated by a central mountain range as well as rolling hills and plains along the country’s 2.490 kilometers of coastline. Likewise, the country shares borders with Costa Rica and Colombia.
Land Distribution and Trade in Panama
Currently, Panama has a total population of 3.8 million citizens, with an average age of 30 years. Furthermore, about 68% of the population lives in an urban setting, notably Panama City (capital) with its 1.8 million inhabitants. The annual gross domestic product (GDP) of Panama is US$104 billion (PPP) and the national economy has experienced positive economic growth upwards of 5.0% in recent years. As of today, the national economy is divided into 3% agriculture, 15% manufacturing, and 82% services. Meanwhile, the national labor force is divided into 17% working in the agriculture industry, 19% working in the industrial sector, and 64% working in services. Similarly, the national agriculture industry utilizes about 31% of the national territory, while another 43% is forested.
In terms of natural resources, Panama has copper, hardwood forests, and hydropower. Within manufacturing, the national industry is focused on construction, brewing, cement production, and sugar milling. Simultaneously, the country’s agricultural industry has as main products bananas, rice, corn, coffee, sugarcane, vegetables, livestock, and shrimp.
In terms of trade, Panama is the world’s 86th largest export economy. During 2016, the country imported US$27.8 billion worth of goods and exported US$8.8 billion, resulting in a trade surplus of US$19 billion. Furthermore, that same year, the country’s main export, representing 9.8% or US$861 billion of the total, were passenger and cargo ships. On the other hand, Panama’s main import, representing 26% or US$7.3 billion of all international purchases, were also passenger and cargo ships. Meanwhile, Panama’s main trading partners are Japan, China, the United States, Venezuela, and Colombia.
Unfortunately, in Panama, some 400.000 people suffer from undernourishment. In recent years, the average per capita protein intake of animal origin amongst the Panamanian population has been 41 grams daily. Simultaneously, land distribution and output in the country have evolved throughout the last half century. Back in 1961, permanent pastures and meadows in Panama covered 1.06 million hectares, while arable land covered 438.000 hectares and permanent crops covered 126.000 hectares. More recently, by 2016, permanent pastures and meadows had increased to cover 1.51 million hectares, while arable land represented 563.000 hectares and permanent crops accounted for 185.000 hectares.
Likewise, the domestic cereals market in Panama has evolved during the last half century. Back in 1961, the country devoted approximately 192.200 hectares of land to the production of cereals and produced 182.887 metric tons annually. In 2016, Panama devoted 165.387 hectares of land to cereals production and yielded some 425.000 metric tons.
(Read more about Trade, Macroeconomics & Agribusiness in Chile)