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Panama (2008)

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Panama 2008 year

Administrative divisions 9 provinces (provincias, singular - provincia) and 1 territory* (comarca); Bocas del Toro, Chiriqui, Cocle, Colon, Darien, Herrera, Los Santos, Panama, San Blas*(Kuna Yala), and Veraguas
Age structure 0-14 years: 30% (male 496,195/female 476,508)

15-64 years: 63.6% (male 1,044,139/female 1,016,805)

65 years and over: 6.4% (male 97,365/female 111,161) (2007 est.)
Agriculture - products bananas, rice, corn, coffee, sugarcane, vegetables; livestock; shrimp
Airports 116 (2007)
Airports - with paved runways total: 54

over 3,047 m: 1

2,438 to 3,047 m: 1

1,524 to 2,437 m: 5

914 to 1,523 m: 18

under 914 m: 29 (2007)
Airports - with unpaved runways total: 62

1,524 to 2,437 m: 1

914 to 1,523 m: 11

under 914 m: 50 (2007)
Area total: 78,200 sq km

land: 75,990 sq km

water: 2,210 sq km
Area - comparative slightly smaller than South Carolina
Background Explored and settled by the Spanish in the 16th century, Panama broke with Spain in 1821 and joined a union of Colombia, Venezuela, and Ecuador - 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 to expand the Canal. The project, which is to begin in 2007 and could double the Canal's capacity, is expected to be completed in 2014-15.
Birth rate 21.45 births/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Budget revenues: $5.206 billion

expenditures: $5.089 billion (2007 est.)
Capital name: Panama

geographic coordinates: 8 58 N, 79 32 W

time difference: UTC-5 (same time as Washington, DC during Standard Time)
Climate tropical maritime; hot, humid, cloudy; prolonged rainy season (May to January), short dry season (January to May)
Coastline 2,490 km
Constitution 11 October 1972; major reforms adopted 1978, 1983, 1994, and 2004
Country name conventional long form: Republic of Panama

conventional short form: Panama

local long form: Republica de Panama

local short form: Panama
Death rate 5.44 deaths/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Debt - external $10.56 billion (31 December 2007 est.)
Diplomatic representation from the US chief of mission: Ambassador William A. EATON

embassy: Edificio 783, Avenida Demetrio Basilio Lakas Panama, 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
Diplomatic representation in the US chief of mission: Ambassador Federico HUMBERT Arias

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
Disputes - international organized illegal narcotics operations in Colombia operate within the remote border region with Panama
Economic aid - recipient $19.54 million (2005)
Economy - overview Panama's dollarized 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. Economic growth will be bolstered by the Panama Canal expansion project that began in 2007 and should be completed by 2014 at a cost of $5.3 billion (about 30% of current GDP). The expansion project will more than double the Canal's capacity, enabling it to accommodate ships that are now too large to transverse the transoceanic crossway and should help to reduce the high unemployment rate. The government has implemented tax reforms, as well as social security reforms, and backs regional trade agreements and development of tourism. Not a CAFTA signatory, Panama in December 2006 independently negotiated a free trade agreement with the US, which, when implemented, will help promote the country's economic growth.
Electricity - consumption 4.735 billion kWh (2005)
Electricity - exports 51 million kWh (2005)
Electricity - imports 55 million kWh (2005)
Electricity - production 5.661 billion kWh (2005)
Elevation extremes lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m

highest point: Volcan Baru 3,475 m
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, 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
Ethnic groups mestizo (mixed Amerindian and white) 70%, Amerindian and mixed (West Indian) 14%, white 10%, Amerindian 6%
Exchange rates balboas per US dollar - 1 (2007), 1 (2006), 1 (2005), 1 (2004), 1 (2003)
Executive branch 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)

cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the president

elections: president and vice presidents elected on the same ticket by popular vote for five-year terms (eligible for two more terms); election last held 2 May 2004 (next to be held on 3 May 2009); note - beginning in 2009, Panama will have only one vice president.

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 - PRD (Democratic Revolutionary Party), PP (Popular Party)
Exports 51 million kWh (2005)
Exports $9.662 billion f.o.b.; note - includes the Colon Free Zone (2007 est.)
Exports 0 cu m (2005 est.)
Exports 4,140 bbl/day (2004)
Exports - commodities bananas, shrimp, sugar, coffee, clothing
Exports - partners US 39.8%, Spain 8.1%, Netherlands 6.7%, Sweden 5.6%, Costa Rica 4.5% (2006)
Fiscal year calendar year
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
GDP - composition by sector agriculture: 6.8%

industry: 16.2%

services: 77% (2007 est.)
GDP - real growth rate 7.8% (2007 est.)
Geographic coordinates 9 00 N, 80 00 W
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
Heliports 2 (2007)
Household income or consumption by percentage share lowest 10%: 0.7%

highest 10%: 43% (2003)
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
Imports 55 million kWh (2005)
Imports $12.1 billion f.o.b. (includes the Colon Free Zone) (2007 est.)
Imports 0 cu m (2005)
Imports 92,170 bbl/day (2004)
Imports - commodities capital goods, foodstuffs, consumer goods, chemicals
Imports - partners US 27%, Netherlands Antilles 10.1%, Costa Rica 5.1%, Japan 4.7% (2006)
Independence 3 November 1903 (from Colombia; became independent from Spain 28 November 1821)
Industrial production growth rate 7.8% (2007 est.)
Industries construction, brewing, cement and other construction materials, sugar milling
Infant mortality rate total: 15.96 deaths/1,000 live births

male: 17.33 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 14.54 deaths/1,000 live births (2007 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices) 5.1% (2007 est.)
International organization participation BCIE, CAN (observer), CSN (observer), FAO, G-77, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC, LAES, LAIA (observer), MIGA, NAM, OAS, OPANAL, OPCW, PCA, RG, UN, UN Security Council (temporary), UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, Union Latina, UNWTO, UPU, WCL, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
Irrigated land 430 sq km (2003)
Judicial branch Supreme Court of Justice or Corte Suprema de Justicia (nine judges appointed for 10-year terms); five superior courts; three courts of appeal
Labor force 1.471 million

note: shortage of skilled labor, but an oversupply of unskilled labor (2007 est.)
Labor force - by occupation agriculture: 15%

industry: 18%

services: 67% (2006 est.)
Land boundaries total: 555 km

border countries: Colombia 225 km, Costa Rica 330 km
Land use arable land: 7.26%

permanent crops: 1.95%

other: 90.79% (2005)
Languages Spanish (official), English 14%; note - many Panamanians bilingual
Legal system based on civil law system; judicial review of legislative acts in the Supreme Court of Justice; accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations
Legislative branch unicameral National Assembly or Asamblea Nacional (78 seats; members are elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms); note - in 2009, the number of seats will change to 71

elections: last held 2 May 2004 (next to be held 3 May 2009)

election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - PRD 41, PA 17, PS 9, MOLIRENA 4, CD 3, PLN 3, 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
Life expectancy at birth total population: 75.19 years

male: 72.69 years

female: 77.8 years (2007 est.)
Literacy definition: age 15 and over can read and write

total population: 91.9%

male: 92.5%

female: 91.2% (2000 census)
Location Central America, bordering both the Caribbean Sea and the North Pacific Ocean, between Colombia and Costa Rica
Map references Central America and the Caribbean
Maritime claims territorial sea: 12 nm

contiguous zone: 24 nm

exclusive economic zone: 200 nm or edge of continental margin
Merchant marine total: 5,764 ships (1000 GRT or over) 159,649,801 GRT/240,190,316 DWT

by type: barge carrier 2, bulk carrier 1,940, cargo 1,034, carrier 3, chemical tanker 507, combination ore/oil 6, container 710, liquefied gas 191, livestock carrier 7, passenger 46, passenger/cargo 72, petroleum tanker 522, refrigerated cargo 288, roll on/roll off 129, specialized tanker 22, vehicle carrier 285

foreign-owned: 4,949 (Albania 1, Argentina 8, Australia 4, Bahamas 2, Bangladesh 1, Belgium 11, Bulgaria 1, Canada 17, Chile 8, China 473, Colombia 4, Croatia 6, Cuba 11, Cyprus 15, Denmark 32, Dominican Republic 1, Ecuador 2, Egypt 13, Estonia 3, France 15, Gabon 1, Germany 38, Greece 505, Hong Kong 137, India 25, Indonesia 37, Iran 4, Ireland 1, Israel 2, Italy 10, Jamaica 1, Japan 2,151, Jordan 11, South Korea 316, Kuwait 1, Latvia 5, Lebanon 3, Lithuania 5, Malaysia 14, Maldives 1, Malta 2, Mexico 4, Monaco 11, Netherlands 14, Nigeria 6, Norway 60, Oman 1, Pakistan 5, Peru 15, Philippines 12, Poland 15, Portugal 9, Qatar 1, Romania 8, Russia 9, Saudi Arabia 14, Singapore 83, Spain 61, Sri Lanka 3, Sweden 9, Switzerland 26, Syria 24, Taiwan 306, Thailand 10, Turkey 53, Turks and Caicos Islands 1, Ukraine 8, UAE 108, UK 35, US 115, Venezuela 10, Vietnam 10, Yemen 5)

registered in other countries: 1 (Venezuela 1) (2007)
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"
Military branches 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 expenditures - percent of GDP 1% (2006)
National holiday Independence Day, 3 November (1903)
Nationality noun: Panamanian(s)

adjective: Panamanian
Natural hazards occasional severe storms and forest fires in the Darien area
Natural resources copper, mahogany forests, shrimp, hydropower
Net migration rate -0.37 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Political parties and leaders Democratic Change or CD [Ricardo MARTINELLI]; Democratic Revolutionary Party or PRD [Hugo GUIRAUD]; Nationalist Republican Liberal Movement or MOLIRENA [Gisela CHUNG]; Panamenista Party or PA [Juan Carlos VARELA] (formerly the Arnulfista Party); Patriotic Union Party or PU (combination of the Liberal National Party or PLN and the Solidarity Party or PS)[Jose Raul MULINO and Anibal GALINDO]; Popular Party or PP [Rene ORILLAC] (formerly Christian Democratic Party or PDC)
Political pressure groups and leaders Chamber of Commerce; National Civic Crusade; 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
Population 3,242,173 (July 2007 est.)
Population below poverty line 37% (1999 est.)
Population growth rate 1.564% (2007 est.)
Radio broadcast stations AM 101, FM 134, shortwave 0 (1998)
Railways total: 355 km

standard gauge: 77 km 1.435-m gauge

narrow gauge: 278 km 0.914-m gauge (2006)
Religions Roman Catholic 85%, Protestant 15%
Sex ratio at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female

under 15 years: 1.041 male(s)/female

15-64 years: 1.027 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.876 male(s)/female

total population: 1.021 male(s)/female (2007 est.)
Suffrage 18 years of age; universal and compulsory
Telephone system general assessment: domestic and international facilities well developed

domestic: combined fixed-line and mobile-cellular telephone density is approaching 70 telephones per 100 persons

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
Telephones - main lines in use 432,900 (2006)
Telephones - mobile cellular 1.694 million (2005)
Television broadcast stations 38 (including repeaters) (1998)
Terrain interior mostly steep, rugged mountains and dissected, upland plains; coastal areas largely plains and rolling hills
Total fertility rate 2.66 children born/woman (2007 est.)
Unemployment rate 7.2% (2007 est.)
Waterways 800 km (includes 82 km Panama Canal) (2007)
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