The government supported this law, the first of its kind implemented in Central America and the Caribbean, in order to make Panama's e-commerce industry the one to beat for offshore web hosting and IT connectivity.
Panama has strict banking and corporate laws designed to protect the privacy of investors. As a result, Panama now has the best-protected Internet e-commerce legislation in the world. Panama also has the highest level of communications infrastructure for telephone, fax, internet, and cellular communications in all of Central & South America, including the Caribbean.
Panama has the best access to multiple high-bandwidth continental fiber optic networks in telecommunications infrastructure. The extremely low risk of natural disasters (hurricanes etc.), gives the Panamanian telecom sector security and reliability of service as well as a competitive advantage over other offshore jurisdictions.
Panama is extremely easy to access from almost anywhere, due to its central location in the middle of the Americas. Its proximity to large cities in the US and Europe makes it relatively cost effective to bring in specialist know-how for installation and maintenance.
Panama's long history as an international banking and services jurisdiction has resulted in the availability of technical know-how in Internet technology and information technology as well as sufficient human resources to install and maintain e-commerce operations.
The MAYA-1 and ARCOS-1 ring systems, completed in December of 2000, link the continental Americas and the Caribbean Basin.
All the preceding advantages, incentives, and infrastructure make Panama an ideal location for all high tech businesses including:
Panama's constitution provides for what we consider to be the most solid banking and corporate book secrecy laws in the world. With Britain's proposed regulation for removal of bank and corporate book secrecy in the UK offshore territories, it is clear that Panama remains the most secure offshore financial center - where privacy and confidentiality is not only respected, but vigorously protected by constitutional law.
Additional Panamanian Benefits
Because Panama offers the best bank secrecy laws in the world, revealing banking information to third parties is a crime, punishable by prison. The Panamanian banking system is set up to ensure depositors the security of their deposits, similar to the US banking system. The National Banking Commission (NBC) and the Banco Nacional de Panama (BNP) perform the functions of a central clearing bank.
The NBC oversees the banking system, sets the reserve requirements, and regulates interest rates. The BNP functions as the Panamanian government's principal depository, manages the country's international reserves, and is the clearing-house for the banking system.
Panama's new comprehensive banking law (Decree No. 9) meets the standards of leading financial centers around the world for transparency and regulation, and conforms to the statutes of the Basle Commission.
As one of the world's top offshore banking centers, Panama has no exchange controls or restrictions on the movement of money in or out of the country.
Some of the banks present in Panama's banking center are: Citibank, HSBC, Dresdner Bank, Bank of Tokyo, Bank of Boston, Banco Nacional de Paris, International Commercial Bank of China, Societe Generale, Banque Sudameris, BBVA, Banco Uno, Banco General, PriBanco, Banco del Istmo, Global Bank, MultiCredit Bank, PanaBank, ABN Amro, Banco Aliado, Banco Continental, BancoLat, BIPAN, Lloyds TLB Bank, Bank of Nova Scotia, and many more.
The Panama Stock Exchange is the fastest growing in the region with an average total trading volume of US$900 million.
Some of the brokerage firms present in Panama, or represented by affiliates, include: Merrill Lynch, Pershing / DLJ, Paine Webber, Solomon Smith Barney, Bear Stearns, etc. Major companies in Panama include Dell Computers, Federal Express, DHL, Sears, Price Costco, Bell South, Kansas City Southern Railways, Continental and American Airlines, ICA (construction), Cable & Wireless, Evergreen, Warranty Company of the Americas, and Hutchinson Whampoa. In addition, you will find just about every American franchise you can imagine on the streets of Panama City.
In these trying economic and political times, Panama is a stable and flourishing country that is one of the most business-friendly in the world.
Contact us today for more information or assistance in setting up your Panama corporation.