Panama’s Growth Prospects: Determinants and Sectoral Perspectives


Kimberly Beaton ; Metodij Hadzi-Vaskov

Publication Date:

July 7, 2017

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Disclaimer: IMF Working Papers describe research in progress by the author(s) and are published to elicit comments and to encourage debate. The views expressed in IMF Working Papers are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the views of the IMF, its Executive Board, or IMF management.


This paper estimates medium-term potential growth for a country undergoing significant structural and secular changes. Our forward-looking framework, incorporating three analytical approaches for examining economic prospects, constitutes an important complement to typical backward-looking methods that filter or extrapolate historical data. In particular, the opening of the expanded Panama Canal in 2016 highlights significant structural changes underway in the Panamanian economy. We first analyze growth determinants and find that Panama is well-placed to maintain its business model, with improvements in education and governance important to support growth. Second, the current pipeline of investment projects can help sustain investment-led growth, although at a more moderate pace. Third, further development of the logistics and tourism sectors holds promise to further build on Panama’s comparative advantage.


Working Paper No. 2017/150



Publication Date:

July 7, 2017



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