Panama’s Ministry of Labor and Workforce Development issued 67% more work permits to foreign nationals in 2015 compared to 2014. These figures indicate a more open attitude towards employment of foreigners on the government’s part, as well as a continuing expansion by international companies here. The trend is seen as fueling the growing demand in the real estate rental and sales markets.
The number of permits issued in 2015 reached 20,369, as compared to 12,141 in 2014. Colombians were the largest group to receive work permits, accounting for over 28% permits issued, followed by Venezuelans, Spaniards, and Nicaraguans.
The sharp increase is a marked contrast to many countries where the policy is to put up more barriers for foreign workers. Panama’s continuing open-door policy has improved business conditions by bringing in international workers and executives and bettering the labor pool overall.