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Panama is a country in Central America (at the Southern end of Central American isthmus) located between Colombia to the South and Costa Rica to the North. Its population is currently at 3.46 million with an annual growth rate of 1.8%. It is S-shaped with an area of 77,381 square kilometers. It is known for the ambitious of great powers, constitutional government and evolution of world economy. The official language in Panama is Spanish. However, some educated individuals speak both Spanish and English. The religions in this country are the Roman Catholic (majority 84%), Protestants and others. it has the Mestizo, Indigenous, African decent, Caucasian and Chinese ethnic groups. Panama City is the country’s largest city which is its capital city. This paper looks into the country’s region characteristics in relation to the supply chain.
The Panamanians official language, Spanish is spoken by the neighboring countries thereby allowing for their friendly contributions towards each other. The ability of the citizens to speak both Spanish and English is a step into marketing and relating well with the neighborhood and in bid to promote its economy and widen its market the supply chain is enhanced.
Panama’s exports consist of mainly agriculture, fishing and mining with bananas and shrimps being the main exports. To promote their products and get the complements, the country has laid venues for free trade with international relations such as the USA and Korea. Attraction of foreign investments is enhanced through the free trade agreements, lower tariffs of 9% and no barriers, exclusion of import license and fiscal incentives and tax breaks for investments in key areas of the economy. The country has maintained a balance of trade. This has in turn strengthened the supply chain for the country.
Both the costs of living and labor are low. This means that investments are encouraged. The costs of housing are good with good shopping, modern economies, international insurance, finance and shipping centers; and dining practices. The pricing means used encourage more demand hence the need for more supply. Moreover, the drinking water is excellent, the electricity is reliable and the telecommunication facilities are very good. This is good enough to encourage suppliers into the market and products out of the country.
Panamas governed by constitutional democracy. The government is divided into three branches namely the executive, legislative and the judicial commissions ensuring that the country runs smoothly and the crimes are curbed. This has been in place since the elimination of the vestige military dictators. In addition, the Panamanians are friendly to foreigners hence encouraging more introductions of foreign products. The government regulations and oversight of private business are not too rigid as in the North America or Europe. Businesses in service in Panama are given extra security and protection.
The good rail, air and sea infrastructure encourage access into the country. This has been improved by the Panama Canal that has fostered agreements with other states and the international relations like the Organization of American States.
With the country’s rich GDP and an annual growth rate of 10.5% (as per 2011). The geographical conditions of the country favor the activities it is involved in. it contributes to the shrimp and banana exports as well as the well equipped shipping firms. The inflation rate of the country is low hence encouraging the entry into the market and production. The population demands are good enough to provide for more encouragement to business investments.
Even though the country’s region characteristics have affluence to the supply chain, they have some negative sides. For instance, the mail system is inconsistent and unreliable, the literacy rate is low, approval processes are long and there are a lot of unnecessary labor laws. The work force of Panama is about a third of the population most of which is devoted to commercial, agricultural, constructional and other industries. Diversification is still a problem to solve hence the economic aspect that puts the supply chain at stake. With these to correct, the country still maintains a just in time supply chain managements.