Business is largely concentrated to the Channel Zone. In
the densely populated, urbanized zone of Ciudad de
Panamá-Colón, service industries dominate; in 2003, service
industries accounted for over 80% of the country's gross
domestic product (GDP) and employed approx. 2 /
3 of the working population.. In the country at
large forms primary industries the largest industrial base.
Tourist revenue, especially at the Channel Zone, is
substantial. In addition, due to its liberal establishment
and tax rules, the country has significant international
banking and financing activities.
Agriculture (incl. Hunting and fishing) employed 20% of
the working population in 2003 and contributed approx. 6% of
the national product. The country still has large unused
agricultural land, and only 9% is fully cultivated land. The
earth is very unevenly distributed. The vast majority of
farms are very small, while 30% of agricultural land belongs
to large estates and plantations. There, bananas, sugar and
coffee are widely grown for export. Bananas alone account
for approx. 1/3 of the country's
export earnings. Most important products for local
consumption are rice, corn and beans. Otherwise, some cattle
and pig teams are run.
During the 1980s, forestry was run to such an extent that
the country's forest areas were reduced by several percent
annually. The heavy cutting also resulted in growing erosion
problems, and during the latter part of the 1980s periods of
chopping restrictions were introduced. About. 10% of the
forest is protected in national parks. The timber and timber
products are exported, among other things. of mahogany and
mangrove bark (for tanning leather).
There is some fishing. Shrimp and anchovies are important
The industrial sector is relatively small and produces
most consumer products for the domestic market. In 2003, the
industry (including mining) employed 17% of the working
population and contributed 14% of GDP. The industry is
mainly concentrated in the Ciudad de Panamá – Colón area.
Main industries are food industry, refining of imported
petroleum (Colón), beverages, stationery and various
countryaah, Panama has deposits of copper, coal and molybdenum.
Panama's deficit on the balance of trade abroad is mainly
covered by revenues and fees from the Channel Zone, by
international banking and revenues from the tourism industry
and ships sailing under the Panama flag (convenience flag).
Thus, service exports are more important to Panama's economy
than goods exports. Colón has a free trade area with offices
and business premises for a number of foreign companies. The
Frison was established in 1953 and is today the second most
important free trade area in the world (after Hong Kong).
In 2001, the United States accounted for 10% of Panama's
imports and 49.6% of exports. Other important trading
partners are Japan, Ecuador, Germany, Costa Rica and
Venezuela. The main export goods are bananas, shrimp, oil
products, coffee and sugar. Electrical and electronic
equipment, chemicals and chemical products, metal products,
foodstuffs, transport equipment, textiles etc. are
Transport and Communications
The Pan-American Highway passes through the country from
the north and approx. 550 km to the south. There is a
stretch to the border with Colombia, Darién Gap (sp.
Tapón de Dariél), which consists of alternating
rainforest and wetlands. The development of this stretch is
disputed. The road network is also best developed in the
central parts of the country in the areas around the Panama
Canal. The total road length is approx. 11 000 km. The
Atlantic and Pacific Ocean are linked by the 82-kilometer
Panama Canal. It is now registered approx. 10,000 vessels
under the Panama flag (convenience flag), amounting to
approx. 20% of the world's trading fleet. The main ports,
Balboa and Cristóbal, are located in the Channel Zone.
Tocumen near the capital Ciudad de Panamá has an