Any real estate salesman knows the key to success: location,
location, and location. Perhaps no country has demonstrated the
truth behind the maxim, or defined itself quite so completely
in terms of its geographical position, as Panama.
Straightening Out the Future
With a history as an international finanacial services center, Panama is on the cusp of redefining its global role. Despite a stubborn economy and contentious politics, the country has the tools to proceed.
The nation of 2.8 million people, which next year celebrates
100 years of independence, has built its economy on being the
meeting point - and melting pot - of the Americas since
colonial times. Railway engineers, canal builders, and today's
layers of fiberoptic cables have all found that the best way to
connect the globe is across this 50-mile-wide isthmus that
bridges Central and South America.
Helped by the solid foundation provided by the US dollar,
which Panama adopted at independence, the country has always
found a niche in facilitating international services such as
banking and trade. A long-standing presence of US troops
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