Judy Genshaft

University of South Florida

“The Tampa Bay Trade & Protocol Council is an integral part of our region’s international trade strategy"

President Ronald L. Vaughn

The University of Tampa

"The Tampa Bay Trade & Protocol Council has a lead role in helping to rebuild these relationships for our community.”

Bob Rohrlack

Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce

Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce commends the Mayor and County on their vision to strengthen Protocol with an international trade component.


Panama is the southernmost country of Central America (5). The Panama Canal is one of the wonders of the world (6). It opened August 15, 1914 and was completed by the United States in 1920 (6). The Panama Canal plays a major role in America's economy (5).

Panama’s natural resources include copper, mahogany forests, shrimp and hydropower (2).

The country has one oil refinery with a production capacity of 60,000 barrels per day (4).

Panama’s 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 (4).

Panama economy is structured as followed (in % of GDP): services 78.4%, industry 17.9% and agriculture 3.7% (2013) (1). Its agriculture products include bananas, rice, corn, coffee, sugarcane, vegetables, livestock and shrimp (1;4).

Panama’s industries include construction, brewing, cement, clays, lime, limestone, and sand, gravel, sugar milling, alcoholic beverages, sugar, ceramics, tropical clothing, cigarettes, hats, furniture, shoes, soap, edible oils, clothing, chemicals (2;4).

Panama’s top exports commodities include gold, iron and steel waste, pineapples, watermelons bananas, shrimp, clothing and manufacturing textiles, fish, sugar and coffee (1;4). Panama’s top imports commodities include fuel products, medicines, vehicles, iron and steel rods, cellular phones, capital goods, foodstuffs, consumer goods and chemicals (1;2).

Panama’s main ports and harbors are Balboa, Cristobal, Coco Solo, Colon and Vacamonte (2).

Trade Statistics
Panama is the United States' 45th largest goods trading partner $11.2 billion in total goods trade during 2013(7). In 2013, Panama was the United States' 29th largest goods export market and 93rd largest supplier of goods imports (7). In 2012, United-States was Panama’s main export partner (8). Florida’s top exports to Panama: Electric Apparatus For Line Telephony, Automatic Data Process Machines, Perfumes And Toilet Waters, Civilian Aircraft, Engines, Motor Cars & Vehicles For Transporting Persons, Ethyl Alcohol. Florida’s top imports from Panama: Expts Of Artic Imptd For Repairs; Impts Of Artic Exptd Returned, Gold, Unwrought, Semi manufactured, Fish, Waste & Scrap Of Precious Metals, Bananas And Plantains, Fresh Or Dried, Fish Fillets (9).

On October 31, 2012 the U.S.-Panama Trade Promotion Agreement went into effect. The U.S.-Panama Trade Promotion Agreement will eliminate tariffs and other barriers to U.S. exports, promote economic growth, set high standards for the treatment of investments, provide a framework for resolution of investment or trade disputes, and expand trade between the two countries (10). 

Trade Numbers
  • United States’ goods imports from Panama in 2013: $449 million – (a 16.9% decrease ($92 million) from 2012) (7)
  • United States’ goods exports to Panama in 2013: $10.8 billion – (up 9.6% ($947 million) from 2012) (7)
  • Florida’s merchandise exports to Panama in 2013: 2,036.3 Millions of US Dollars (9)
  • Florida’s merchandise imports from Panama in 2013: 222.7 Millions of US Dollars (9)
  • Total Merchandise Trade between Florida and Panama in 2013: 2,258.9 Millions of US Dollars (9)
  • Exports from Tampa Port Authority to Panama in 2010: $19,548,016 (12)

Export Companies 
Panama owns 3 companies in the Tampa Bay area (11).

Company Parent Company County NAICS Titles # of Employees
Bufkor Incorporated Panama Pinellas Other Miscellaneous Nondurable Goods Merchant Wholesalers <10
The Republic of Panama Panama Hillsborough International Affairs <10
World Industrial Resources Corps. Panama Pinellas All Other Miscellaneous Manufacturing 10 to 29

  1. https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/pm.html
  2. http://www.infoplease.com/country/panama.html?pageno=2
  3. http://worldfacts.us/Panama.htm
  4. http://www.encyclopedia.com/topic/Panama.aspx
  5. http://panamaimperialism.weebly.com/introduction.html
  6. http://www.cerritotropicalpanama.com/pdf/Panamafacts.pdf
  7. http://www.ustr.gov/countries-regions/americas/panama
  8. https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/fields/2050.html
  9. http://www.enterpriseflorida.com/wp-content/uploads/profile-fl-top-trade-partners-panama.pdf
  10. http://export.gov/panama/u.s.-panamafreetradeagreement/index.asp
  11. http://www.tampabay.org/sites/default/files/NEW%202011%20FDI%20STUDY_0.pdf
  12. http://www.worldportsource.com/trade/byPort/PAN/USA_FL_Tampa_Port_Authority_96.php