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  Introduction
  Geography
  People
  Government
  Economy
  Communications
  Transportation
  Military
  Transnational Issues

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Map of Panama

DefinitionDefinition Field ListingField Listing Rank OrderRank Order
   Introduction    Panama
Background:
Definition Field Listing
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. On 7 September 1977, an agreement was signed for the complete transfer of the Canal from the US to Panama by the end of 1999. Certain portions of the Zone and increasing responsibility over the Canal were turned over in the intervening years. 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 turned over to Panama by or on 31 December 1999.

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   Geography    Panama
Location:
Definition Field Listing
Central America, bordering both the Caribbean Sea and the North Pacific Ocean, between Colombia and Costa Rica
Geographic coordinates:
Definition Field Listing
9 00 N, 80 00 W
Map references:
Definition Field Listing
Central America and the Caribbean
Area:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total: 78,200 sq km
land: 75,990 sq km
water: 2,210 sq km
Area - comparative:
Definition Field Listing
slightly smaller than South Carolina
Land boundaries:
Definition Field Listing
total: 555 km
border countries: Colombia 225 km, Costa Rica 330 km
Coastline:
Definition Field Listing
2,490 km
Maritime claims:
Definition Field Listing
territorial sea: 12 nm
contiguous zone: 24 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
Climate:
Definition Field Listing
tropical maritime; hot, humid, cloudy; prolonged rainy season (May to January), short dry season (January to May)
Terrain:
Definition Field Listing
interior mostly steep, rugged mountains and dissected, upland plains; coastal areas largely plains and rolling hills
Elevation extremes:
Definition Field Listing
lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m
highest point: Volcan de Chiriqui 3,475 m
Natural resources:
Definition Field Listing
copper, mahogany forests, shrimp, hydropower
Land use:
Definition Field Listing
arable land: 7.36%
permanent crops: 1.98%
other: 90.66% (2001)
Irrigated land:
Definition Field Listing
320 sq km (1998 est.)
Natural hazards:
Definition Field Listing
occasional severe storms and forest fires in the Darien area
Environment - current issues:
Definition Field Listing
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:
Definition Field Listing
party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, 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:
Definition Field Listing
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

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   People    Panama
Population:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
3,000,463 (July 2004 est.)
Age structure:
Definition Field Listing
0-14 years: 30.2% (male 461,427; female 443,932)
15-64 years: 63.6% (male 967,490; female 940,344)
65 years and over: 6.2% (male 88,611; female 98,659) (2004 est.)
Median age:
Definition Field Listing
total: 25.9 years
male: 25.6 years
female: 26.2 years (2004 est.)
Population growth rate:
Definition Field Listing
1.31% (2004 est.)
Birth rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
20.36 births/1,000 population (2004 est.)
Death rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
6.39 deaths/1,000 population (2004 est.)
Net migration rate:
Definition Field Listing
-0.91 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2004 est.)
Sex ratio:
Definition Field Listing
at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.03 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.9 male(s)/female
total population: 1.02 male(s)/female (2004 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total: 20.95 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 23.08 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 18.72 deaths/1,000 live births (2004 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total population: 72.14 years
male: 69.82 years
female: 74.56 years (2004 est.)
Total fertility rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
2.49 children born/woman (2004 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
0.9% (2003 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
16,000 (2003 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
less than 500 (2003 est.)
Nationality:
Definition Field Listing
noun: Panamanian(s)
adjective: Panamanian
Ethnic groups:
Definition Field Listing
mestizo (mixed Amerindian and white) 70%, Amerindian and mixed (West Indian) 14%, white 10%, Amerindian 6%
Religions:
Definition Field Listing
Roman Catholic 85%, Protestant 15%
Languages:
Definition Field Listing
Spanish (official), English 14%
note: many Panamanians bilingual
Literacy:
Definition Field Listing
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 92.6%
male: 93.2%
female: 91.9% (2003 est.)

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   Government    Panama
Country name:
Definition Field Listing
conventional long form: Republic of Panama
conventional short form: Panama
local long form: Republica de Panama
local short form: Panama
Government type:
Definition Field Listing
constitutional democracy
Capital:
Definition Field Listing
Panama
Administrative divisions:
Definition Field Listing
9 provinces (provincias, singular - provincia) and 1 territory* (comarca); Bocas del Toro, Chiriqui, Cocle, Colon, Darien, Herrera, Los Santos, Panama, San Blas*, and Veraguas
Independence:
Definition Field Listing
3 November 1903 (from Colombia; became independent from Spain 28 November 1821)
National holiday:
Definition Field Listing
Independence Day, 3 November (1903)
Constitution:
Definition Field Listing
11 October 1972; major reforms adopted 1978, 1983 and 1994
Legal system:
Definition Field Listing
based on civil law system; judicial review of legislative acts in the Supreme Court of Justice; accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction, with reservations
Suffrage:
Definition Field Listing
18 years of age; universal and compulsory
Executive branch:
Definition Field Listing
chief of state: President Martin TORRIJOS Espino (since 1 September 2004); First Vice President Samuel LEWIS Navarro (since 1 September 2004); Second Vice President Ruben AROSEMENA Valdes (since 1 September 2004); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government
head of government: President Martin TORRIJOS Espino (since 1 September 2004); First Vice President Samuel LEWIS Navarro (since 1 September 2004); Second Vice President Ruben AROSEMENA Valdes (since 1 September 2004); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government
cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the president
elections: president and vice presidents elected on the same ticket by popular vote for five-year terms; election last held 2 May 2004 (next to be held NA May 2009)
election results: Martin TORRIJOS Espino elected president; percent of vote - Martin TORRIJOS Espino 47.5%, Guillermo ENDARA Galimany 30.6%, Jose Miguel ALEMAN 17%, Ricardo MARTINELLI 4.9%
note: government coalition - PA, MOLIRENA, Democratic Change, MORENA, PLN, PS
Legislative branch:
Definition Field Listing
unicameral Legislative Assembly or Asamblea Legislativa (78 seats; members are elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms)
elections: last held 2 May 2004 (next to be held 2 May 2009)
election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - PRD 40, PA 17, PS 8, MOLIRENA 3, Democratic Change 2, PP 2, PLN 1, other 5
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:
Definition Field Listing
Supreme Court of Justice or Corte Suprema de Justicia (nine judges appointed for 10-year terms); five superior courts; three courts of appeal
Political parties and leaders:
Definition Field Listing
Arnulfista Party or PA [Mireya Elisa MOSCOSO Rodriguez]; Civic Renewal Party or PRC [Serguei DE LA ROSA]; Democratic Change or CD [Ricardo MARTINELLI]; Democratic Revolutionary Party or PRD [Martin TORRIJOS]; National Liberal Party or PLN [Raul ARANGO Gasteazopo]; National Renovation Movement or MORENA [Pedro VALLARINO Cox]; Nationalist Republican Liberal Movement or MOLIRENA [Ramon MORALES]; Popular Party or PP (formerly Christian Democratic Party or PDC) [Ruben AROSEMENA]; Solidarity Party or PS [Samuel LEWIS Galindo]
Political pressure groups and leaders:
Definition Field Listing
Chamber of Commerce; National Civic Crusade; National Council of Organized Workers or CONATO; National Union of Construction and Similar Workers (SUNTRACS); National Council of Private Enterprise or CONEP; Panamanian Association of Business Executives or APEDE; Panamanian Industrialists Society or SIP; Workers Confederation of the Republic of Panama or CTRP
International organization participation:
Definition Field Listing
FAO, G-77, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICCt, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ISO, ITU, LAES, LAIA (observer), NAM, OAS, OPANAL, OPCW, PCA, RG, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WCL, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO
Diplomatic representation in the US:
Definition Field Listing
chief of mission: Ambassador Roberto ALFARO Estripeaut
chancery: 2862 McGill Terrace NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 483-1407
FAX: [1] (202) 483-8416
consulate(s) general: Atlanta, Houston, Miami, New Orleans, New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco, San Juan (Puerto Rico), Tampa
Diplomatic representation from the US:
Definition Field Listing
chief of mission: Ambassador Linda Ellen WATT
embassy: Avenida Balboa and Calle 37, Apartado Postal 0816-02561, Zona 5, Panama City 5
mailing address: American Embassy Panama, Unit 0945, APO AA 34002
telephone: [507] 207-7000
FAX: [507] 227-1964
Flag description:
Definition Field Listing
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

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   Economy    Panama
Economy - overview:
Definition Field Listing
Panama's dollarised economy rests primarily on a well-developed services sector that accounts for three-fourths of GDP. Services include operating the Panama Canal, banking, the Colon Free Zone, insurance, container ports, flagship registry, and tourism. A slump in Colon Free Zone and agricultural exports, the global slowdown, and the withdrawal of US military forces held back economic growth in 2000-03. The government has been backing public works programs, tax reforms, new regional trade agreements, and development of tourism in order to stimulate growth. Unemployment remains at an unacceptably high level.
GDP:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
purchasing power parity - $18.78 billion (2003 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
4.1% (2003 est.)
GDP - per capita:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
purchasing power parity - $6,300 (2003 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
Definition Field Listing
agriculture: 8.3%
industry: 14.7%
services: 77.1% (2003 est.)
Investment (gross fixed):
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
24.8% of GDP (2003)
Population below poverty line:
Definition Field Listing
37% (1999 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
Definition Field Listing
lowest 10%: 1.2%
highest 10%: 35.7% (1997)
Distribution of family income - Gini index:
Definition Field Listing
48.5 (1997)
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
1.4% (2003 est.)
Labor force:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
1.19 million
note: shortage of skilled labor, but an oversupply of unskilled labor (2003 est.)
Labor force - by occupation:
Definition Field Listing
agriculture 20.8%, industry 18%, services 61.2% (1995 est.)
Unemployment rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
13.8% (2003 est.)
Budget:
Definition Field Listing
revenues: $2.995 billion
expenditures: $3.421 billion, including capital expenditures of $471 million (2003 est.)
Public debt:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
73.3% of GDP (2003)
Agriculture - products:
Definition Field Listing
bananas, rice, corn, coffee, sugarcane, vegetables; livestock; shrimp
Industries:
Definition Field Listing
construction, petroleum refining, brewing, cement and other construction materials, sugar milling
Industrial production growth rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
7% (2003 est.)
Electricity - production:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
4.039 billion kWh (2001)
Electricity - consumption:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
3.681 billion kWh (2001)
Electricity - exports:
Definition Field Listing
118 million kWh (2001)
Electricity - imports:
Definition Field Listing
43 million kWh (2001)
Oil - production:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
0 bbl/day (2001 est.)
Oil - consumption:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
52,000 bbl/day (2001 est.)
Oil - exports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
NA (2001)
Oil - imports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
NA (2001)
Current account balance:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$-408 million (2003)
Exports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$5.237 billion f.o.b. (2003 est.)
Exports - commodities:
Definition Field Listing
bananas, shrimp, sugar, coffee, clothing (1999)
Exports - partners:
Definition Field Listing
US 19.8%, Germany 11.5%, Peru 7.2%, Belgium 6.7%, Japan 6.3%, Italy 4.2% (2003 est.)
Imports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$6.622 billion f.o.b. (2003 est.)
Imports - commodities:
Definition Field Listing
capital goods, crude oil, foodstuffs, consumer goods, chemicals (1999)
Imports - partners:
Definition Field Listing
Japan 37.4%, US 12.8%, China 10.3%, Singapore 8%, Italy 4.3% (2003 est.)
Reserves of foreign exchange & gold:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$1.011 billion (2003)
Debt - external:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$8.834 billion (2003 est.)
Economic aid - recipient:
Definition Field Listing
$197.1 million (1995)
Currency:
Definition Field Listing
balboa (PAB); US dollar (USD)
Currency code:
Definition Field Listing
PAB; USD
Exchange rates:
Definition Field Listing
balboas per US dollar - 1 (2003), 1 (2002), 1 (2001), 1 (2000), 1 (1999)
Fiscal year:
Definition Field Listing
calendar year

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   Communications    Panama
Telephones - main lines in use:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
386,900 (2002)
Telephones - mobile cellular:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
834,000 (2003)
Telephone system:
Definition Field Listing
general assessment: domestic and international facilities well developed
domestic: NA
international: country code - 507; 1 coaxial submarine cable; satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean); connected to the Central American Microwave System
Radio broadcast stations:
Definition Field Listing
AM 101, FM 134, shortwave 0 (1998)
Television broadcast stations:
Definition Field Listing
38 (including repeaters) (1998)
Internet country code:
Definition Field Listing
.pa
Internet hosts:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
7,129 (2003)
Internet users:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
120,000 (2002)

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   Transportation    Panama
Railways:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total: 355 km
standard gauge: 76 km 1.435-m gauge
narrow gauge: 279 km 0.914-m gauge (2003)
Highways:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total: 11,400 km
paved: 3,944 km (including 30 km of expressways)
unpaved: 7,456 km (1999)
Waterways:
Definition Field Listing
882 km
note: 800 km navigable by shallow draft vessels; 82 km Panama Canal
Pipelines:
Definition Field Listing
crude oil 130 km (2001)
Ports and harbors:
Definition Field Listing
Balboa, Cristobal, Coco Solo, Manzanillo (part of Colon area), Vacamonte
Merchant marine:
Definition Field Listing
total: 4,833 ships (1,000 GRT or over) 122,960,929 GRT/183,615,337 DWT
by type: barge carrier 3, bulk 1,434, cargo 819, chemical tanker 388, combination bulk 73, combination ore/oil 18, container 613, liquefied gas 190, livestock carrier 3, multi-functional large load carrier 15, passenger 36, passenger/cargo 5, petroleum tanker 514, rail car carrier 1, refrigerated cargo 281, roll on/roll off 125, short-sea/passenger 37, specialized tanker 36, vehicle carrier 242
foreign-owned: Albania 2, Angola 1, Antigua and Barbuda 2, Argentina 7, Australia 11, Austria 1, Bahamas 3, Bangladesh 1, Belgium 5, Belize 4, Brazil 4, British Virgin Islands 8, Cambodia 2, Canada 6, Cayman Islands 1, Chile 13, China 286, Colombia 14, Croatia 3, Cuba 17, Cyprus 6, Denmark 4, Dominican Republic 1, Ecuador 1, Egypt 16, Equatorial Guinea 1, France 7, Germany 89, Greece 549, Haiti 1, Honduras 2, Hong Kong 288, India 22, Indonesia 44, Iran 1, Ireland 2, Israel 4, Italy 7, Japan 1630, Jordan 8, Kenya 1, South Korea 349, Kuwait 1, Latvia 11, Liberia 3, Lithuania 2, Luxembourg 1, Malaysia 12, Malta 1, Marshall Islands 3, Mexico 7, Monaco 29, Netherlands 14, Netherlands Antilles 1, New Zealand 1, Nigeria 6, Norway 86, Oman 1, Pakistan 1, Peru 17, Philippines 41, Poland 12, Portugal 6, Puerto Rico 3, Romania 9, Russia 8, Saint Kitts and Nevis 3, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 6, Saudi Arabia 6, Singapore 105, South Africa 3, Spain 52, Sri Lanka 3, Sudan 1, Sweden 4, Switzerland 93, Syria 1, Taiwan 348, Thailand 14, Trinidad and Tobago 1, Turkey 12, Ukraine 2, United Kingdom 51, United States 99, Venezuela 4
registered in other countries: 85 (2003 est.)
Airports:
Definition Field Listing
103 (2003 est.)
Airports - with paved runways:
Definition Field Listing
total: 42
over 3,047 m: 1
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 5
914 to 1,523 m: 13
under 914 m: 22 (2003 est.)
Airports - with unpaved runways:
Definition Field Listing
total: 61
914 to 1,523 m: 12
under 914 m: 49 (2003 est.)

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   Military    Panama
Military branches:
Definition Field Listing
an amendment to the Constitution abolished the armed forces, but there are security forces (Panamanian Public Forces or PPF includes the Panamanian National Police, National Maritime Service, and National Air Service)
Military manpower - availability:
Definition Field Listing
males age 15-49: 810,341 (2004 est.)
Military manpower - fit for military service:
Definition Field Listing
males age 15-49: 553,422 (2004 est.)
Military expenditures - dollar figure:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$145 million (2003)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
1.2% (2003)
Military - note:
Definition Field Listing
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"

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   Transnational Issues    Panama
Disputes - international:
Definition Field Listing
none
Illicit drugs:
Definition Field Listing
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

Large portions of this information is from the US government open source publication "The World Factbook", other content copyright © Stratus-Pikpuk, Inc. You may use this information without permission for educational or other non-profit purposes if you refer to us as the source, contact us if you want to use this commercially.


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