The Republic of Panama is bordered by Costa Rica in Central America and Colombia in South America, and its coast is bordered by the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. Its capital city Panama is located on the Pacific coast and is the gateway to the Panama Canal. The country was a Spanish colony until 1821. In 1903, Panama seceded from Colombia, and became an independent republic. Its population is approximately 2.4 million people, out of which 700 000 people live in the capital city.
Panama is one of the best known and recognised world centres for offshore services, due mainly to its high confidentiality and efficient system for company registration.
A company in Panama can only be incorporated through a local legal adviser.
Panama is the second fastest developing economy in Central America, and also has the highest per capita consumption in the region. According to the Global Competitiveness Index provided by the World Economic Forum, since 2010 the Panamanian economy has been the second most competitive economy in Latin America.