Working in Panama City

Work in Panama City
Updated 2017-07-31 09:25

Panama has a wide range of industries providing job opportunities for expats – bearing in mind that the country puts its own people first and anyone wishing to come in and fill a vacancy must be deemed to have skills and/or a level of ability above that of local candidates. Opportunities are available in industries including finance, construction, manufacturing, agriculture and hospitality.


There are restrictions if you are planning to create a business in the fields of law, medicine or accounting. It is vitally important to consult a Panamanian lawyer to ascertain exactly what you can and cannot do.

The Panamanian economy

In view of the Panama Papers scandal of 2016 it might be thought that the economy would suffer due to a lack of international confidence in the country, but that has been softened by the government's reaction of addressing the situation and bringing in experts to analyse and suggest changes in areas regarded as a cause for concern. Transparency, a watchword throughout the world of financial services, is being demanded of Panama and early signs are that lessons have been learned.

In construction, it seems that business continues to boom, even if not all of the new or recent buildings are fully occupied.

Agriculture has struggled, but that may make new talent from abroad an attractive proposition, as expertise is needed to initiate a revival.

The continuing flow of tourists from North America and elsewhere ' and a tendency for those tourists to want to make the country their home ' has opened doors for those in the hospitality sector.

Finding a job in Panama

Most people seeking a new job in a new country go through a specialist agency, and the world these days is full of recruitment firms. The advantages of using a recruitment consultant include their knowledge of how your sector operates in other countries. They can advise you on visa and immigration matters before you go any further, and line up interviews with potential employers.

Trade magazines and websites are another good source of information about vacancies.

The really proactive option, though, is to visit the country on a tourist visa for a week or two, read the papers, look at the jobsites and visit some local agencies. Getting your name known and asserting your active interest in a specific area can create a good impression ' and you can have a holiday at the same time, slotting a day or two of jobhunting into your program of sightseeing and beachgoing.

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