Panama isn’t just getting a fluff and buff - it is a well thought out countrywide game plan.

By Juan Carlos Martinez

new building, Panama City
New construction is flourishing in Panama City

Panama City has been in the build out mode for a long time. The city’s towering edifices of concrete, steel and glass are awash in a gleaming sparkle, from the sun reflecting off the Pacific Ocean. As you look into the building to the left, one can notice the reflections from the blue hues of the bay on Balboa Avenue.

The city and country is also radiating a sense of the vibrant and abundant growth of a strong middle class, the barometer of any stable society. When an economy is strong, not just at the top end, it becomes quite apparent in places like the retail sector. Everything from car dealers, from a Mercedes to a Chevy, to custom made suits, to the vast array of restaurants who are all actively doing business. There are super modern malls, and areas of downtown that could be like Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills, or Greenwich Avenue in Greenwich, CT.

chevy_mercedes logos

The international top names are here. Panama has 200 plus franchises with more on the way. Names like Cartier, Tommy Hilfiger, Bulgari, Calvin Klein, Liz Claiborne, Perry Ellis, Hugo Boss, Oscar de la Renta, Nine West, Kenneth Cole, Apple Store, Nike, Reebok, the Golden Arches, Bennigans, Blockbuster and Speedo just begin to start the list.

Panama City is getting well known as a paradise for shoppers. The city has large shopping districts as well as modern shopping malls, such as the Multicentro Mall, Multiplaza Pacific Mall and the Albrook Mall.

The Newspaper La Prensa web site estimates, 75% of the Panamanian commercial sector operates under the franchise model. An interesting read: “The advantage of owning a franchise is that you can start right away, as everything is already done. When a business of this kind is started, the owner of the franchise provides procedure, quality, training and health manuals. Thus making operation easier”, to quote businessman Roberto Alfaro. (continued on page 2)





Copyright© 2011, Pan Am Publishing S.A., Republic of Panama