Panama’s economy is mainly service-oriented. A good portion of the country’s wealth is in
agriculture, with crops like bananas, shrimp/seafood and coffee on the export list. The high levels of Panamanian trade are in large part due to the Colon Free Trade Zone, the largest free trade zone in the Western Hemisphere. Panama fared decently in tourism receipts and foreign direct investment as a percent of GDP (the fourth-highest in Latin America in both categories) and internet penetration (eighth-highest rate in Latin America).
As regards real estate, Panama City has seen a race between two rival projects aimed at becoming the tallest building in Latin America. The 104-story residential and hotel building, Ice Tower, is slated to be completed in 2010. Apart from the existing demand, future developments will also be helped by such factors as the planned expansion of the Panama Canal, a possible refinery by U.S. oil giant Occidental Petroleum and a new container port near the Pacific entrance of the Canal.