Panama's President highlights economic recovery after the pandemic debacle

Panama's President highlights economic recovery after the pandemic debacle


Photo: Angélica Escobar/Forbes Latam

The recovery is expressed in a 14,9% growth of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) between January and September 2021. 

Laurentino Cortizo, president of Panama, highlighted last Sunday the country’s economic recovery thanks to the 14,6% GDP expansion between January and September 2021, after a 17,9% drop in 2020 caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Following data from Panama’s National Institute of Statistics and Census (INEC for its initials in Spanish), Cortizo said that the 14,9% increase in the first nine months of 2021 “is one of the highest worldwide, and exceeds the projections made by national and international experts for the referenced period”.

He also added that according to the most recent report of the Economic Commission for Latin America (ECLAC), Panama leads the list of economic growth projections for 2022 in the region with a rate of 8,2%.

In offering a report of the six-month management of his administration (2019-2024), the Panamanian head of state attributed the dynamism of the economy to factors such as public investment.

“Only in the last semester of 2021, the State investment to boost the country’s economy was US$2,785 million and, despite the pandemic and its consequent restrictions, the budget execution of the Central Government in 2021 was 96%, the highest in the last 15 years”, said Cortizo.

He also highlighted the social investment of his Administration, which has maintained subsidies to the population in a “constant manner during the 22 months of the pandemic” elapsed so far.

“Our Government continues to face the pandemic, also attending to the social and economic aspects of the country,” as well as considering the contributions of the private sector, said Cortizo.

Panama, a country with 4,28 million citizens, has a service-based economy. In 2020, the pandemic collapsed gross domestic product (GDP) by 17,9%, buried domestic demand, and catapulted unemployment to 18,5%.

GDP is expected to expand between 8% and 12% in 2021, regarding 2020, thanks to the excellent performance of the Panama Canal, a large copper mine, and activities linked to the external sector.

Source: Forbes Staff. (2022, January 2). Presidente de Panamá destaca recuperación económica tras debacle por pandemia. Forbes Centroamérica. Retrieved January 6, 2022, from  


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