Liz Larroquette
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Donald Trump Map PANAMA

The Trump Effect On Panama

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I believed the polls and went to bed before they starting calling swing states for Donald Trump in the US Presidential election so I woke up to a world I had never considered. I had thought Wednesday, November 9th, was going to be the start of things getting back to ordinary, but I was wrong.

What Does That Mean To Panama?

Part of the reason I hadn’t gotten too worked up about the election is that Panama is a small but influential country that has the unique ability to be flexible within the global economy. Other countries don’t want to quarrel with us because we have too much power from the shipping rights of the Panama Canal. Why fight with Panama? We are one of the few countries at peace and we have a solid, well-balanced economy that has positioned us as the de facto capital of Central America.

Daytime panama city skyline

A love for real estate could be one thing Panama and Trump have in common!

After I got over my initial shock of the election not going the way almost all of the pollsters had predicted, I began to consider what a Trump presidency would mean for real estate in Panama.

Of course, we don’t really know, but there are several factors that indicate the election will be a positive move for real estate globally. We’ve never had a real estate professional in the oval office and Donald Trump is definitely pro-real estate. So that much is good.

It’s become apparent the world isn’t immediately falling apart, with markets holding steady and even gaining in the United States, but the long-term financial impact is not as clear. Economies don’t like uncertainty and there is plenty of uncertainty with the Trump victory. Will there be a backlash far worse than Brexit? What about the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)? NATO? Will there be a wall? What about the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP)?

Not So Great For the Neighbours...

The first Sunday after the election, The New York Times, put together a separate section dealing with how the election might impact many countries such as China, Russia, Brazil and Mexico. I wasn’t surprised there wasn’t a separate article on Panama, but I was happy to read that a financial expert felt there were two areas where individuals should invest and that included technology stocks and emerging markets such as Panama.

flags of countries in NAFTA

What will happen to NAFTA once Trump takes over the Oval Office?

According to the Times and other American media, Mexico will suffer greatly from a Trump presidency. The peso has already endured the largest drop in the last 20 years and if NAFTA falls apart, thousands of Mexican jobs will be lost, property will be devalued and tourists will likely find another spot to vacation. I don’t want to even consider what building a wall and deporting up to 11 million non-documented Mexicans would mean to a country I consider a neighbor and friend.

Mexico is America’s third largest trading partner behind Canada and China so I am hopeful the financial backlash for Mexico won’t be as bad as expected. I would be untruthful if I said I wasn’t happy I didn’t own property in Mexico.

A Solid Bet

I am however grateful I have invested in Panama. We are a market that is rapidly growing with a strong and solid economy. I feel good we are insured against so many questionable outcomes now worrying other countries. The collapse of NAFTA will not hurt Panama’s economy. If TPP does not materialize there may be less traffic through the Panama Canal, but the Canal is already overbooked. While we enjoy the beautiful 70-story Trump Ocean Club and International Hotel and Tower in Panama City, it’s not owned by the President-elect but rather investors who simply bought his luxury-branded name. Our jobs are secure and our infrastructure is strong. Banks and multi-national countries continue to invest and headquarter in Panama City.

Town Center Costa Del Este

There is a phenomenal amount of residential and commercial development happening in Panama - such as the Town Center project in Costa del Este.

Since we are an emerging market, there are still great real-estate bargains to be found in Panama such as the ocean-front Royal Palm condominiums in Nueva Gorgona just outside Panama City. Costa del Este is an area inside the city which is exploding with opportunity including pre-construction pricing, financing and great amenities. It’s a safe diverse way to even out an investment portfolio or provide a great retirement home.

Forget Canada and Follow the Sun!

Ocean Sand Palm Trees

Come and enjoy the sun in Panama!

I am always a little surprised by the passion on the part of many Americans when discussing the recent elections. I haven’t seen much of a middle-ground so I wasn’t surprised when I read the Canadian Immigration website crashed on election night because there were too many people wanting to read what it took to move to Canada. With that I wanted to shout, “forget Canada, it’s too cold in the winter and property is really expensive. Think about Panama where we have beautiful weather, real estate bargains and a chill life style. No matter if you preferred Clinton to Trump, we pretty much all get along. If we don’t, there is always a cold cerveza!”

Come on down!

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About the Author Liz Larroquette

Whether you are looking to retire in Panama, relocate your family, or buy property as an investment Liz is a wealth of knowledge you can and should tap into.

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