Panama Now 6th Richest Country in Latin America
Wednesday, May 05 2010 @ 12:38 PM UTC
Contributed by: Don Winner
Editor's Comment: Keep your eyes on these numbers. I have been predicting for years that eventually Panama will become the richest country in Latin America in terms of GDP (PPP). This will certainly happen within our lifetimes, and nothing short of a massive natural disaster can keep it from happening. Once the project to expand the Panama Canal is complete in 2014, canal revenue will increase from about $2 billion per year today to more than $5 billion. This, in a relatively small country with about 3.5 million inhabitants. Take a look at this chart I prepared below, based on Panama economic country data from the International Monetary Fund (IMF). You can see how Panama's economy improved markedly after the restoration of democracy, and then it took a couple of years after Panama regained control of the Panama Canal for things to really take off. The IMF projects their data with predictions through 2015, and they think that Panama's GDP (PPP) will be $16,505 by then. I think the economies of other countries in Latin America will grow as well, but few will grow as much or as fast as Panama's. I also predict every year we will see Panama move up a place or two on this list of the "Richest Countries in Latin America." This year Panama is the sixth richest country. Then it will be fourth. Then it will be second. And eventually Panama will take it's place as the richest country in Latin America, and I wonder if any other country in Latin America will ever be able to unseat them. No other country in Latin America has a money maker equivalent to the Panama Canal, which happens to be in a very small country with a relatively small population. More and more foreign direct investment keeps pouring in for things like infrastructure improvements, gold and copper mines, now oil exploration. As I said before, nothing short of a massive natural disaster can derail this train. Watch this space...