The following factors are responsible for the continued positive outlook of this sector:
• Office automation is a growing trend in both the public and private sectors.
• Import duties for computers (average 7% over CIF value) are relatively low.
• There are many accessible computer suppliers both locally and abroad, particularly in the
• There is a growing computer culture, which resulted from government programs aimed at
increasing the use of computers/Internet, and modernization of existing systems in
government offices as well as in public schools.
• There is a close connection with the U.S., particularly among young Panamanians who
have gone to U.S. schools or look with favor on the social networking culture. Internet
services, computer magazines, journals, and other literature from the U.S. are widely
Computer products from the U.S. are well received and are perceived as incorporating stateof-
the-art technology. The U.S. has a strong position in this market with a market share over
60%. Prices for U.S. computers and peripherals are competitive against products from Korea,
Taiwan and Japan. The most promising end users are banks, commercial establishments,
universities, the Panama Canal, and government organizations.
Sub-Sector Best Prospects
Best prospects are personal computers, LAN equipment, laptops, and laser printers.
The government is a major computer user. It has been committed to increasing use and
modernization of computer systems and has promoted the Internet access for most of the
population. The Panama Canal and the banking sector are also important buyers of computer
equipment and are always current with technology. The Panama Canal has set a high
standard for the rest of the government by publicizing all public tenders, both upcoming and
awarded, in a fully searchable database that is web-accessible to the public.