International companies continue to pour money into Panama. Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) grew up by 21.4 percent in 2018 compared to the previous year, according to the new data released by the National Institute of Statistics and Census (INEC).
The growth was fueled by widespread increases in business and growth in several sectors, including new investment projects in mining, commerce, and communications, El Capital Financiero reports. Those investments include the launch of Cobre Panama, the largest mining operation in the region, which is going to pump billions into the local economy.
FDI for 2018 totaled $5.548 billion dollars, an increase of $979.7 million from 2017, the government agency reports.
While Panama has seen several large jumps in FDI over the year, this latest number is dramatic. It is also a solid indicator of future growth when coupled with the recent data coming out of international economic agencies.
The International Monetary Fund recently predicted that Panama’s economy would grow by 6 percent in 2019, making it one of the strongest economies in the region. A few days later, Moody’s upgraded the investment rating for Panama, noting the “growth outlook over the coming years will remain robust.”
FDI will play a key role in that growth. It also provides the investment community an indicator of the large-scale support Panama is receiving from companies around the world, as well as a sign of the strong foundation underlying the economic growth.