Nearshoring in Panama: What are the benefits?

Due to geographic proximity and cultural similarities, nearshoring in Panama can be very good for especially North American businesses. It allows companies to outsource activities at a considerably cheaper cost, increase efficiency, and access new markets. With increasing scrutiny on the safety and security of shipping routes, the country provides a safe port in the storm.

Due to these significant advantages, nearshoring in Panama is becoming more and more popular among organizations. Traditional outsourcing, which is frequently performed far from a company’s headquarters, is proving ineffective, particularly during periods of global economic downturns like the COVID-19 pandemic. 

For firms wishing to outsource activities closer to home, Latin America provides a wealth of benefits. We can explain the advantages of nearshoring in Panama and explain why doing so can be a wise, strategic decision for your organization. We also offer full support for setting up and running any of the different types of companies in Panama.

What are the benefits of nearshoring in Panama?

Panama has an abundance of strong arguments for why it is a desirable nearshore location. There are several important advantages over other well-known outsourcing locations, besides just being close to the US and Europe geographically.

These are some of the most popular reasons:

  • Cost-Effectiveness
  • Culture Similarities
  • Language Similarities
  • Skilled Workforce and Educational System
  • Government Support
  • Infrastructure and Technology
  • Proximity and Time Zone Similarities

Let’s take a deeper look at each point;

"Tech talent in Latin America" infographic by Biz Latin Hub for an article on "nearshoring in Panama".
Tech talent is an attraction of nearshoring in Panama.

Cost Reductions:

The potential for significant cost reductions is one of the main benefits. Nearshoring enables businesses to access a highly qualified labor force at a cheaper cost than onshoring within the United States or offshoring to remote locations. When looking at labor costs in the United States and Europe, Panama’s costs are much less and still provide the quality needed to run operations smoothly.

Culture Similarities:

Successful business relationships depend on clear communication and an understanding of cultural differences. Due to shared ideals and historical links, Panama and North America share a cultural affinity that makes team relationships easier. This similar cultural background strengthens professional relationships, reduces miscommunication, and improves the collaborative process as a whole. 

Language Similarities:

Collaboration and effective communication can be hampered by language limitations. However, the country has a high level of English proficiency, which makes it an ideal location for nearshoring for businesses that speak English. This linguistic skill reduces language-related difficulties and promotes efficient team communication. This significantly increases the interest for many countries. 

Skilled Workforce and Educational System:

An educated and adaptive workforce is greatly supported by Panama’s educational system. The nation places a high priority on education and training to make sure that graduates have the necessary skills required by present industries. Additionally, the workforce in Panama is provided with an advanced understanding of both English and Spanish through the country’s bilingual education system, facilitating successful communication with partners and clients from various linguistic backgrounds.

Government Support:

The Panamanian government strongly encourages nearshoring because it understands its economic advantages. The government enables companies to set up operations in Panama through a number of programs and policies, including tax breaks and grants. These incentives help the nation’s economy expand and thrive while also attracting international investment to begin nearshoring in Panama.

Infrastructure and Technology:

Modern infrastructure in Panama is an essential component for successful nearshoring operations. The nation is proud of its dependable telecommunications infrastructure, effective transportation networks, and cutting-edge IT facilities. These elements are necessary for effective communication, information sharing, and teamwork with teams dispersed throughout the world. Technology parks and innovation hubs also help to foster innovation and knowledge sharing within the corporate ecosystem.

Proximity and Time Zone Similarities:

Businesses headquartered in North America can benefit significantly from nearshoring to Panama in terms of time zone. Due to their close proximity, they can collaborate in real time, communicate effectively, and resolve problems quickly. This benefit is especially important for sectors of the economy where responsiveness and quick decision-making are essential for success. The geographical proximity of Panama to the United States makes it an easy choice for nearshoring as well, due to comparatively shorter commute times. Travel to Panama from New York City is around a five hour flight, giving business travelers an easier opportunity to conduct business in the Latin American country when need be. 

6 sectors and industries have thrived with nearshoring in Panama

Many sectors and industries have been extremely successful when nearshoring in Panama. As Panama continues to expand on their nearshoring ecosystem, the interest in moving operations to the country continues to grow. 

Here are a few sectors that have thrived in the Panamanian nearshoring environment:

  1. Information Technology (IT)
  2. Call Centers and Customer Support
  3. Finance and Accounting
  4. E-Commerce and Logistics
  5. Engineering and Architecture
  6. Research and Development

Looking further into each point;

1. Information Technology (IT):

The nearshoring of software and IT has centered on Panama. Panama’s English language, highly skilled IT personnel, and cost-effective solutions are advantages for businesses in this industry. Nearshore outsourcing to Panama is widespread for IT support, web development, mobile app development, and software development.

"Median salary software developers" infographic by Biz Latin Hub for an article on "nearshoring in Panama".
Nearshoring in Panama for IT sectors has steadily increased and valued the salary of software developers

2. Call Centers and Customer Support:

Through nearshoring in Panama, call center and customer service businesses have expanded. The country is a prime place for handling consumer enquiries and support services due to its bilingual workforce, cultural affinity with North America, and accessible time zone.

3. Finance and Accounting:

The robust financial services industry in Panama has attracted nearshoring in the financial, accounting, and back-office sectors. To handle duties like accounting, bookkeeping, financial analysis, and data processing– businesses take advantage of Panama’s financial knowledge and educated personnel.

4. E-Commerce and Logistics:

Companies involved in online retailing and logistics have discovered Panama to be a worthwhile nearshoring location as e-commerce has grown. Warehouse, inventory management, order fulfillment, and supply chain operations are supported by the nation’s advantageous geographic location and effective transportation networks.

5. Engineering and Architecture:

Nearshoring in Panama for fields including design, drafting, and technical support has been attracted to Panama’s engineering and architectural skill pool. Construction, engineering, and architectural design firms have taken advantage of Panama’s highly qualified personnel.

6. Research and Development:

Several research and development companies over the years have chosen to engage with the region by nearshoring in Panama due to their expertise in specific fields. Many of these fields include environmental sciences, biotechnology, and renewable energy. We can anticipate more companies to engage as the race for utilizing renewable energy continues to ramp up. 

There are several other industries that have also successfully integrated in Panama, but these remain some of the most popular sectors. It’s vital to remember that the suitability of nearshoring in Panama depends on a variety of factors, including the nature of the business, industry-specific requirements, and the strategic goals of the organization.

Nearshoring in Panama can be the opportunity you are looking for

Panama combines strategic advantages such as geographic location, skilled talent pools, culture and language similarities, government support, quality infrastructure, and cost savings. These factors have contributed to Panama’s emergence as a top nearshoring destination. By capitalizing on the benefits Panama offers, companies can unlock their full potential, optimize their outsourcing strategies, and achieve sustainable growth in today’s competitive global market.

FAQs Nearshoring in Panama

1. What is the objective of nearshoring in Panama?

The objective of Nearshoring is to reduce costs and maintain fluid and effective communication with the work team, which can be more difficult to achieve when working with countries that are far apart.

2. How does nearshoring in Panama differ from offshoring?

Nearshoring involves outsourcing to nearby countries, such as Panama, while offshoring typically involves outsourcing to more distant locations, often overseas.

3. What industries are suitable for nearshoring in Panama?

Industries such as manufacturing, IT services, customer support and software development have found success with nearshoring in Panama due to their skilled labor and cost efficiency.

4. Is nearshoring in Panama suitable for startups?

Yes, nearshoring in Panama can benefit startups by providing access to cost-effective talent, scalable solutions, and proximity to major markets.

4. Is nearshoring in Panama suitable for startups?

Yes, it can benefit startups by providing access to cost-effective talent, scalable solutions, and proximity to major markets.

Biz Latin Hub can assist you with nearshoring in Panama

At Biz Latin Hub, we offer comprehensive market entry and back-office solutions in Latin America and the Caribbean.

We specialize in a range of services, including nearshoring in Panama, as well as hiring and PEO, accounting and taxation, company incorporation, and corporate legal advice.

Our offices are located in major cities across the region. In addition, we have established partnerships in numerous other markets, providing our clients with an extensive network of resources.

This extensive coverage makes us well-equipped to support market entry and cross-border operations across multiple countries. Get in touch with us today to learn more about our services and how we can assist you with your business endeavors in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Key services offered by Biz Latin Hub for nearshoring in Panama and elsewhere

The information provided here within should not be construed as formal guidance or advice. Please consult a professional for your specific situation. Information provided is for informative purposes only and may not capture all pertinent laws, standards, and best practices. The regulatory landscape is continually evolving; information mentioned may be outdated and/or could undergo changes. The interpretations presented are not official. Some sections are based on the interpretations or views of relevant authorities, but we cannot ensure that these perspectives will be supported in all professional settings.
Craig Dempsey
Craig Dempsey

Craig is a seasoned business professional in Latin America. He is the Managing Director and Co-Founder of the Biz Latin Hub Group that specializes in the provision market entry and back office services. Craig holds a degree in Mechanical Engineering, with honors and a Master's Degree in Project Management from the University of New South Wales. Craig is also an active board member on the Australian Colombian Business Council, and likewise also active with the Australian Latin American Business Council.

Craig is also a military veteran, having served in the Australian military on numerous overseas missions and also a former mining executive with experience in various overseas jurisdictions, including, Canada, Australia, Peru and Colombia.

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