Introduction

Central America and Caribbean :: Panama

Background:
Explored and settled by the Spanish in the 16th century, Panama broke with Spain in 1821 and joined a union of Colombia, Ecuador, and Venezuela - named the Republic of Gran Colombia. When the latter dissolved in 1830, Panama remained part of Colombia. With US backing, Panama seceded from Colombia in 1903 and promptly signed a treaty with the US allowing for the construction of a canal and US sovereignty over a strip of land on either side of the structure (the Panama Canal Zone). The Panama Canal was built by the US Army Corps of Engineers between 1904 and 1914. In 1977, an agreement was signed for the complete transfer of the Canal from the US to Panama by the end of the century. Certain portions of the Zone and increasing responsibility over the Canal were turned over in the subsequent decades. With US help, dictator Manuel NORIEGA was deposed in 1989. The entire Panama Canal, the area supporting the Canal, and remaining US military bases were transferred to Panama by the end of 1999. In October 2006, Panamanians approved an ambitious plan (estimated to cost $5.3 billion) to expand the Canal. The project, which began in 2007 and could double the Canal's capacity, is expected to be completed in 2015.

Geography

Location:
Central America, bordering both the Caribbean Sea and the North Pacific Ocean, between Colombia and Costa Rica

Geographic coordinates:
9 00 N, 80 00 W

Map references:
Central America and the Caribbean

Area:
Total: 75,420 sq km
Country comparison to the world: 118
Land: 74,340 sq km
Water: 1,080 sq km

Area - comparative:
slightly smaller than South Carolina

Land boundaries:
Total: 555 km
Border countries: Colombia 225 km, Costa Rica 330 km

Coastline:
2,490 km

Maritime claims:
Territorial sea: 12 nm
Contiguous zone: 24 nm
Exclusive economic zone: 200 nm or edge of continental margin

Climate:
tropical maritime; hot, humid, cloudy; prolonged rainy season (May to January), short dry season (January to May)

Terrain:
interior mostly steep, rugged mountains and dissected, upland plains; coastal areas largely plains and rolling hills

Elevation extremes:
Lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m
Highest point: Volcan Baru 3,475 m

Natural resources:
copper, mahogany forests, shrimp, hydropower

Land use:
Arable land: 7.16%
Permanent crops: 2.51%
Other: 90.33% (2011)

Irrigated land:
346.2 sq km (2003)

Total renewable water resources:
148 cu km (2011)

Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):
Total: 0.91 cu km/yr (27%/2%/71%)
Per capita: 296.1 cu m/yr (2005)

Natural hazards:
occasional severe storms and forest fires in the Darien area

Environment - current issues:
water pollution from agricultural runoff threatens fishery resources; deforestation of tropical rain forest; land degradation and soil erosion threatens siltation of Panama Canal; air pollution in urban areas; mining threatens natural resources

Environment - international agreements:
Party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands, Whaling
Signed, but not ratified: Marine Life Conservation

Geography - note:
strategic location on eastern end of isthmus forming land bridge connecting North and South America; controls Panama Canal that links North Atlantic Ocean via Caribbean Sea with North Pacific Ocean

People and Society

Nationality:
Noun: Panamanian(s)
Adjective: Panamanian

Ethnic groups:
mestizo (mixed Amerindian and white) 70%, Amerindian and mixed (West Indian) 14%, white 10%, Amerindian 6%

Languages:
Spanish (official), English 14%
note: many Panamanians are bilingual

Religions:
Roman Catholic 85%, Protestant 15%

Demographic profile:
Panama is a country of demographic and economic contrasts. It is in the midst of a demographic transition, characterized by steadily declining rates of fertility, mortality, and population growth, but disparities persist based on wealth, geography, and ethnicity. Panama has one of the fastest growing economies in Latin America and dedicates substantial funding to social programs, yet poverty and inequality remain prevalent. The indigenous population accounts for a growing share of Panama's poor and extreme poor, while the non-indigenous rural poor have been more successful at rising out of poverty through rural-to-urban labor migration. The government's large expenditures on untargeted, indirect subsidies for water, electricity, and fuel have been ineffective, but its conditional cash transfer program has shown some promise in helping to decrease extreme poverty among the indigenous population.
Panama has expanded access to education and clean water, but the availability of sanitation and, to a lesser extent, electricity remains poor. The increase in secondary schooling - led by female enrollment - is spreading to rural and indigenous areas, which probably will help to alleviate poverty if educational quality and the availability of skilled jobs improve. Inadequate access to sanitation contributes to a high incidence of diarrhea in Panama's children, which is one of the main causes of Panama's elevated chronic malnutrition rate, especially among indigenous communities.

Population:
3,559,408 (July 2013 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 131

Age structure:
0-14 years: 27.7% (male 503,633/female 483,145)
15-24 years: 17.4% (male 315,918/female 304,056)
25-54 years: 40% (male 721,225/female 703,459)
55-64 years: 7.3% (male 127,743/female 130,899)
65 years and over: 7.6% (male 124,409/female 144,921) (2013 est.)

Dependency ratios:
Total dependency ratio: 55.1 %
Youth dependency ratio: 43.9 %
Elderly dependency ratio: 11.2 %
Potential support ratio: 8.9 (2013)

Median age:
Total: 28 years
Male: 27.6 years
Female: 28.4 years (2013 est.)

Population growth rate:
1.38% (2013 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 89

Birth rate:
18.91 births/1,000 population (2013 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 96

Death rate:
4.73 deaths/1,000 population (2013 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 196

Net migration rate:
-0.35 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2013 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 129

Urbanization:
Urban population: 75% of total population (2010)
Rate of urbanization: 2.3% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)

Major urban areas - population:
PANAMA CITY (capital) 1.346 million (2009)

Sex ratio:
At birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 0.98 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.86 male(s)/female
Total population: 1.02 male(s)/female (2013 est.)

Mother's mean age at first birth:
21.1 (1976 est.)

Maternal mortality rate:
92 deaths/100,000 live births (2010)
Country comparison to the world: 79

Infant mortality rate:
Total: 11.01 deaths/1,000 live births
Country comparison to the world: 137
Male: 11.77 deaths/1,000 live births
Female: 10.21 deaths/1,000 live births (2013 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
Total population: 78.13 years
Country comparison to the world: 56
Male: 75.35 years
Female: 81.04 years (2013 est.)

Total fertility rate:
2.4 children born/woman (2013 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 86

Contraceptive prevalence rate:
52.2% (2009)

Health expenditures:
8.1% of GDP (2010)
Country comparison to the world: 56

Physicians density:
1.5 physicians/1,000 population (2000)

Hospital bed density:
2.2 beds/1,000 population (2009)

Drinking water source:
Improved:
urban: 97% of population
rural: 83% of population
total: 93% of population
Unimproved:
urban: 3% of population
rural: 17% of population
total: 7% of population (2008 est.)

Sanitation facility access:
Improved:
urban: 75% of population
rural: 51% of population
total: 69% of population
Unimproved:
urban: 25% of population
rural: 49% of population
total: 31% of population (2008 est.)

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
0.9% (2009 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 52

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
20,000 (2009 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 77

HIV/AIDS - deaths:
1,500 (2009 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 60

Major infectious diseases:
Degree of risk: intermediate
Food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea
Vectorborne disease: dengue fever (2013)

Obesity - adult prevalence rate:
25.4% (2008)
Country comparison to the world: 55

Children under the age of 5 years underweight:
3.9% (2008)
Country comparison to the world: 97

Education expenditures:
4.1% of GDP (2011)
Country comparison to the world: 107

Literacy:
Definition: age 15 and over can read and write
Total population: 94.1%
Male: 94.7%
Female: 93.5% (2010 est.)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):
Total: 13 years
Male: 13 years
Female: 14 years (2010)

Child labor - children ages 5-14:
Total number: 59,294
Percentage: 7 %
note: data represents children ages 5-17 (2010 est.)

Unemployment, youth ages 15-24:
Total: 14.6%
Country comparison to the world: 87
Male: 11.2%
Female: 12.4% (2011)

Government

Country name:
Conventional long form: Republic of Panama
Conventional short form: Panama
Local long form: Republica de Panama
Local short form: Panama

Government type:
constitutional democracy

Capital:
Name: Panama City
Geographic coordinates: 8 58 N, 79 32 W
Time difference: UTC-5 (same time as Washington, DC during Standard Time)

Administrative divisions:
9 provinces (provincias, singular - provincia) and 3 indigenous territories* (comarcas); Bocas del Toro, Chiriqui, Cocle, Colon, Darien, Embera-Wounaan*, Herrera, Kuna Yala*, Los Santos, Ngobe-Bugle*, Panama, Veraguas

Independence:
3 November 1903 (from Colombia; became independent from Spain on 28 November 1821)

National holiday:
Independence Day, 3 November (1903)

Constitution:
11 October 1972; revised several times

Legal system:
civil law system; judicial review of legislative acts in the Supreme Court of Justice

International law organization participation:
accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations; accepts ICCt jurisdiction

Suffrage:
18 years of age; universal and compulsory

Executive branch:
Chief of state: President Ricardo MARTINELLI Berrocal (since 1 July 2009); Vice President Juan Carlos VARELA Rodriguez (since 1 July 2009); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government
Head of government: President Ricardo MARTINELLI Berrocal (since 1 July 2009); Vice President Juan Carlos VARELA Rodriguez (since 1 July 2009)
Cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the president
Elections: president and vice president elected on the same ticket by popular vote for five-year terms (president not eligible for immediate reelection and must sit out two additional terms (10 years) before becoming eligible for reelection); election last held on 3 May 2009 (next to be held in May 2014)
Election results: Ricardo MARTINELLI Berrocal elected president; percent of vote - Ricardo MARTINELLI Berrocal 60%, Balbina HERRERA 38%, Guillermo ENDARA Galimany 2%
note: the ruling government coalition - formerly comprised of CD (Democratic Change), Panamenista Party, MOLIRENA (Nationalist Republican Liberal Movement), and UP (Patriotic Union Party) - split in August 2011 when President MARTINELLI relieved Vice President VARELA from his position as Foreign Minister prompting the Panamenistas to pull out of the coalition; UP has now merged with CD, and CD and the Panamenista Party will now run separate candidates for the presidency in 2014

Legislative branch:
unicameral National Assembly or Asamblea Nacional (71 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms)
Elections: last held on 3 May 2009 (next to be held in May 2014)
Election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - PRD 26, Panamenista 22, CD 14, UP 4, MOLIRENA 2, PP 1, independents 2; note - changes in political affiliation now reflect the following seat distribution: as of 13 February 2013 - seats by party - CD 36, PRD 17, Panamenista 13, MOLIRENA 4, PP 1
note: legislators from outlying rural districts are chosen on a plurality basis while districts located in more populous towns and cities elect multiple legislators by means of a proportion-based formula

Judicial branch:
Highest court(s): Supreme Court of Justice or Corte Suprema de Justicia (consists of 9 magistrates and 9 alternates and divided into civil, criminal, administrative, and general business chambers)
Judge selection and term of office: magistrates appointed by the president for staggered 10-year terms
Subordinate courts: appellate courts or Tribunal Superior; Labor Supreme Courts; Court of Audit; circuit courts or Tribunal Circuital (2 each in 9 provinces); municipal courts; electoral, family, maritime, and adolescent courts

Political parties and leaders:
Democratic Change or CD [Ricardo MARTINELLI Berrocal]
Democratic Revolutionary Party or PRD [Juan Carlos NAVARRO Quelquejeu]
Nationalist Republican Liberal Movement or MOLIRENA [Sergio GONZALEZ-Ruiz]
Panamenista Party [Juan Carlos VARELA Rodriguez] (formerly the Arnulfista Party)
Popular Party or PP [Milton HENRIQUEZ] (formerly Christian Democratic Party or PDC)

note: The Patriotic Union Party (UP) has merged with Democratic Change (CD)

Political pressure groups and leaders:
Chamber of Commerce
Concertacion Nacional (mechanism for government of Panama to formally dialogue with representatives of civil society)
National Council of Organized Workers or CONATO
National Council of Private Enterprise or CONEP
National Union of Construction and Similar Workers (SUNTRACS)
Panamanian Association of Business Executives or APEDE
Panamanian Industrialists Society or SIP
Workers Confederation of the Republic of Panama or CTRP

International organization participation:
BCIE, CAN (observer), CD, CELAC, CSN (observer), FAO, G-77, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (national committees), ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), LAES, LAIA, MIGA, NAM, OAS, OPANAL, OPCW, PCA, SICA, UN, UNASUR (observer), UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, Union Latina, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO

Diplomatic representation in the US:
Chief of mission: Ambassador Mario Ernesto JARAMILLO Castillo
Chancery: 2862 McGill Terrace NW, Washington, DC 20008
Telephone: [1] (202) 483-1407
FAX: [1] (202) 483-8413
Consulate(s) general: Honolulu, Houston, Miami, New Orleans, New York, Philadelphia, San Diego, Tampa

Diplomatic representation from the US:
Chief of mission: Ambassador Jonathan D. FARRAR
Embassy: Edificio 783, Avenida Demetrio Basilio Lakas Panama, Apartado Postal 0816-02561, Zona 5, Panama City
Mailing address: American Embassy Panama, Unit 0945, APO AA 34002; American Embassy Panama, 9100 Panama City PL, Washington, DC 20521-9100
Telephone: [507] 317-5000
FAX: [507] 317-5568

National symbol(s):
harpy eagle

National anthem:
Name: "Himno Istemno" (Isthmus Hymn)

Lyrics/music: Jeronimo DE LA OSSA/Santos A. JORGE
note: adopted 1925

Economy

Economy - overview:
Panama's dollar-based economy rests primarily on a well-developed services sector that accounts for more than three-quarters of GDP. Services include operating the Panama Canal, logistics, banking, the Colon Free Zone, insurance, container ports, flagship registry, and tourism. Economic growth will be bolstered by the Panama Canal expansion project that began in 2007 and is estimated to be completed by 2015 at a cost of $5.3 billion - about 10-15% of current GDP. The expansion project will more than double the Canal's capacity, enabling it to accommodate ships that are too large to traverse the existing canal. The United States and China are the top users of the Canal. Panama is also constructing a metro system in Panama City, valued at $1.2 billion and scheduled to be completed by 2014. Panama''s booming transportation and logistics services sectors, along with aggressive infrastructure development projects, have lead the economy to continued high growth in 2012. Foreign investment, at around 10% of GDP in both 2011 and 2012, has continued to be a source of growth. Strong economic performance has not translated into broadly shared prosperity, as Panama has the second worst income distribution in Latin America. About 30% of the population lives in poverty; however, from 2006 to 2012 poverty was reduced by 10 percentage points, while unemployment dropped from 12% to 4.4% of the labor force in 2012. The US-Panama Trade Promotion Agreement was approved by Congress and signed into law in October 2011, and entered into force in October 2012. Panama also achieved removal from the Organization of Economic Development''s gray-list of tax havens by signing various double taxation treaties with other nations.

GDP (purchasing power parity):
$58.02 billion (2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 92
$52.42 billion (2011 est.)
$47.29 billion (2010 est.)
note: data are in 2012 US dollars

GDP (official exchange rate):
$36.25 billion (2012 est.)

GDP - real growth rate:
10.7% (2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 7
10.8% (2011 est.)
7.5% (2010 est.)

GDP - per capita (PPP):
$15,900 (2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 86
$14,600 (2011 est.)
$13,400 (2010 est.)
note: data are in 2012 US dollars

GDP - composition, by end use:
Household consumption: 58.3%
Government consumption: 12.7%
Investment in fixed capital: 28.9%
Investment in inventories: 1%
Exports of goods and services: 83.4%
Imports of goods and services: -84.3%
(2012 est.)

GDP - composition, by sector of origin:
Agriculture: 3.8%
Industry: 17.5%
Services: 78.7% (2012 est.)

Agriculture - products:
bananas, rice, corn, coffee, sugarcane, vegetables; livestock; shrimp

Industries:
construction, brewing, cement and other construction materials, sugar milling

Industrial production growth rate:
15.7% (2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 2

Labor force:
1.517 million
Country comparison to the world: 129
note: shortage of skilled labor, but an oversupply of unskilled labor (2012 est.)

Labor force - by occupation:
Agriculture: 17%
Industry: 18.6%
Services: 64.4% (2009 est.)

Unemployment rate:
4.4% (2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 39
4.5% (2011 est.)

Population below poverty line:
26% (2012 est.)

Household income or consumption by percentage share:
Lowest 10%: 1.1%
Highest 10%: 40.1% (2010 est.)

Distribution of family income - Gini index:
51.9 (2010 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 16
56.1 (2003)

Budget:
Revenues: $9.07 billion
Expenditures: $9.835 billion (2012 est.)

Taxes and other revenues:
25% of GDP (2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 128

Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-):
-2.1% of GDP (2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 88

Public debt:
39.2% of GDP (2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 88
40.57% of GDP (2011 est.)

Fiscal year:
calendar year

Inflation rate (consumer prices):
5.7% (2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 157
5.9% (2011 est.)

Commercial bank prime lending rate:
6.91% (31 December 2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 128
6.91% (31 December 2011 est.)

Stock of narrow money:
$7.685 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 86
$6.307 billion (31 December 2011 est.)

Stock of broad money:
$29.72 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 77
$25.73 billion (31 December 2011 est.)

Stock of domestic credit:
$32.27 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 71
$28.1 billion (31 December 2011 est.)

Market value of publicly traded shares:
$10.68 billion (31 December 2011)
Country comparison to the world: 71
$10.92 billion (31 December 2010)
$8.048 billion (31 December 2009)

Current account balance:
-$4.191 billion (2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 159
-$3.892 billion (2011 est.)

Exports:
$18.91 billion (2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 75
$16.93 billion (2011 est.)
note: includes the Colon Free Zone

Exports - commodities:
gold, bananas, shrimp, sugar, iron and steel waste, pineapples, watermelons

Exports - partners:
South Korea 15.7%, US 14.9%, Japan 8.3%, Honduras 7.8%, Indonesia 5.9%, Thailand 5.3% (2012)

Imports:
$24.69 billion (2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 69
$22.95 billion (2011 est.)
note: includes the Colon Free Zone

Imports - commodities:
fuel products, medicines, vehicles, iron and steel rods, cellular phones

Imports - partners:
US 23.6%, China 6.4%, Costa Rica 4.6%, Mexico 4.4% (2012)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:
$3.303 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 105
$2.304 billion (31 December 2011 est.)

Debt - external:
$14.2 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 88
$12.58 billion (31 December 2011 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment - at home:
$NA

Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad:
$NA

Exchange rates:
balboas (PAB) per US dollar -
1 (2012 est.)
1 (2011 est.)
1 (2010 est.)
1 (2009)
1 (2008)

Energy

Electricity - production:
6.546 billion kWh (2010 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 106

Electricity - consumption:
5.805 billion kWh (2010 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 106

Electricity - exports:
39 million kWh (2010 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 78

Electricity - imports:
71 million kWh (2010 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 98

Electricity - installed generating capacity:
1.815 million kW (2009 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 105

Electricity - from fossil fuels:
51.6% of total installed capacity (2009 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 153

Electricity - from nuclear fuels:
0% of total installed capacity (2009 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 160

Electricity - from hydroelectric plants:
48.4% of total installed capacity (2009 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 44

Electricity - from other renewable sources:
0% of total installed capacity (2009 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 174

Crude oil - production:
0 bbl/day (2011 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 177

Crude oil - exports:
0 bbl/day (2009 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 167

Crude oil - imports:
0 bbl/day (2009 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 111

Crude oil - proved reserves:
0 bbl (1 January 2010 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 176

Refined petroleum products - production:
0 bbl/day (2008 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 123

Refined petroleum products - consumption:
98,890 bbl/day (2011 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 78

Refined petroleum products - exports:
0 bbl/day (2008 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 124

Refined petroleum products - imports:
46,370 bbl/day (2008 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 71

Natural gas - production:
0 cu m (2010 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 179

Natural gas - consumption:
0 cu m (2010 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 185

Natural gas - exports:
0 cu m (2010 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 161

Natural gas - imports:
0 cu m (2010 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 116

Natural gas - proved reserves:
0 cu m (1 January 2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 182

Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy:
15.46 million Mt (2010 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 88

Communications

Telephones - main lines in use:
560,200 (2011)
Country comparison to the world: 93

Telephones - mobile cellular:
6.735 million (2011)
Country comparison to the world: 95

Telephone system:
General assessment: domestic and international facilities well-developed
Domestic: mobile-cellular telephone subscribership has increased rapidly
International: country code - 507; landing point for the Americas Region Caribbean Ring System (ARCOS-1), the MAYA-1, and PAN-AM submarine cable systems that together provide links to the US and parts of the Caribbean, Central America, and South America; satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean); connected to the Central American Microwave System (2011)

Broadcast media:
multiple privately owned TV networks and a government-owned educational TV station; multi-channel cable and satellite TV subscription services are available; more than 100 commercial radio stations (2007)

Internet country code:
.pa

Internet hosts:
11,022 (2012)
Country comparison to the world: 132

Internet users:
959,800 (2009)
Country comparison to the world: 104

Transportation

Airports:
117 (2013)
Country comparison to the world: 49

Airports - with paved runways:
Total: 57
Over 3,047 m: 1
2,438 to 3,047 m: 3
1,524 to 2,437 m: 3
914 to 1,523 m: 20
Under 914 m: 30 (2013)

Airports - with unpaved runways:
Total: 60
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 8
Under 914 m:
51 (2013)

Heliports:
3 (2013)

Pipelines:
oil 128 km (2013)

Railways:
Total: 76 km
Country comparison to the world: 127
Standard gauge: 76 km 1.435-m gauge (2008)

Roadways:
Total: 11,978 km
Country comparison to the world: 129
Paved: 4,300 km
Unpaved: 7,678 km (2002)

Waterways:
800 km (includes the 82-km Panama Canal that is being widened) (2011)
Country comparison to the world: 73

Merchant marine:
Total: 6,413
Country comparison to the world: 1
By type: barge carrier 1, bulk carrier 2,525, cargo 1,115, carrier 27, chemical tanker 588, combination ore/oil 1, container 742, liquefied gas 205, passenger 42, passenger/cargo 51, petroleum tanker 545, refrigerated cargo 191, roll on/roll off 87, specialized tanker 3, vehicle carrier 290
Foreign-owned: 5,162 (Albania 4, Argentina 5, Australia 4, Bahamas 6, Bangladesh 5, Belgium 1, Bermuda 27, Brazil 3, Bulgaria 6, Burma 3, Canada 6, Chile 14, China 534, Colombia 2, Croatia 2, Cuba 2, Cyprus 5, Denmark 41, Ecuador 3, Egypt 11, Finland 2, France 7, Gabon 1, Germany 24, Gibraltar 1, Greece 379, Hong Kong 144, India 24, Indonesia 10, Iran 5, Ireland 1, Israel 1, Italy 25, Japan 2372, Jordan 11, Kuwait 12, Lebanon 2, Lithuania 3, Luxembourg 1, Malaysia 12, Maldives 2, Malta 2, Mexico 5, Monaco 11, Netherlands 6, Nigeria 6, Norway 81, Oman 10, Pakistan 3, Peru 9, Philippines 5, Portugal 10, Qatar 1, Romania 3, Russia 49, Saudi Arabia 11, Singapore 92, South Korea 373, Spain 30, Sweden 2, Switzerland 15, Syria 34, Taiwan 328, Tanzania 2, Thailand 6, Turkey 62, UAE 83, UK 37, Ukraine 8, US 90, Venezuela 13, Vietnam 43, Yemen 4)
Registered in other countries: 1 (Honduras 1) (2010)

Ports and terminals:
Balboa, Colon, Cristobal

Military

Military branches:
no regular military forces; Panamanian Public Security Forces (subordinate to the Ministry of Public Security), comprising the National Police (PNP), National Air-Naval Service (SENAN), National Border Service (SENAFRONT) (2013)

Manpower available for military service:
Males age 16-49: 890,006 (2010 est.)

Manpower fit for military service:
Males age 16-49: 731,254
Females age 16-49: 728,329 (2010 est.)

Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:
Male: 32,142
Female: 30,879 (2010 est.)

Military expenditures:
1% of GDP (2012)
Country comparison to the world: 127

Military - note:
on 10 February 1990, the government of then President ENDARA abolished Panama's military and reformed the security apparatus by creating the Panamanian Public Forces; in October 1994, Panama's Legislative Assembly approved a constitutional amendment prohibiting the creation of a standing military force but allowing the temporary establishment of special police units to counter acts of "external aggression"

Transnational Issues

Disputes - international:
organized illegal narcotics operations in Colombia operate within the remote border region with Panama

Refugees and internally displaced persons:
Refugees (country of origin): 15,723 (Colombia) (2012)

Illicit drugs:
major cocaine transshipment point and primary money-laundering center for narcotics revenue; money-laundering activity is especially heavy in the Colon Free Zone; offshore financial center; negligible signs of coca cultivation; monitoring of financial transactions is improving; official corruption remains a major problem

Flag of Panama



Flag description:
divided into four, equal rectangles; the top quadrants are white (hoist side) with a blue five-pointed star in the center and plain red; the bottom quadrants are plain blue (hoist side) and white with a red five-pointed star in the center; the blue and red colors are those of the main political parties (Conservatives and Liberals respectively) and the white denotes peace between them; the blue star stands for the civic virtues of purity and honesty, the red star signifies authority and law