Panama is one of the six countries in Latin America that owes its independence to Simón Bolivar.
Panama is internationally known for the canal of the same name. This canal enables the crossing between the Atlantic Ocean and the Pacific Ocean and resulted in an enormous gain of time for world freight transport. The construction of the canal started in 1881 but the works were halted in 1889 after years of mismanagement. Panama was then still a province of Greater Colombia. It was not until 1904 that the works were resumed, with American capital. This after Panama had separated through an army revolt supported by the United States and was subsequently declared independent.
To this day, the Panama Canal is crucial for the Panamanian economy. The canal is constantly being modernized and Flemish companies are actively contributing to this. Both in dredging and in designing and constructing the new lock gates. The Flemish ports and logistics sector are also active and have interests in Panama.
Meanwhile, the Panamanian economy has become much more diverse. The service sector, and especially the banking sector, has expanded enormously. The airport of Panama City has become the continent's most important hub after São Paulo, and numerous important multinationals transferred their headquarters from Miami to Panama. For many business people, a presence in Panama has become a must.