Local Time: Print

Political and Economic Environment

May 2013

To download/save this report in PDF format, please click here


Panama is a representative democracy with three branches of government: executive and legislative branches elected by direct vote for 5-year terms and an appointed judiciary. The judicial branch is organized under a nine-member Supreme Court (each judge is appointed for a 10-year term) and includes all tribunals and municipal courts. An autonomous Electoral Tribunal supervises voter registration, the election process, and the activities of political parties. Anyone over the age of 18 may vote.


  • President--Ricardo Martinelli
  • Vice President --Juan Carlos Varela
  • Minister of Foreign Affairs--Fernando Núñez Fábrega
  • Ambassador to the United States—Mario Jaramillo

Panama maintains an embassy in the United States at 2862 McGill Terrace, NW, Washington, DC 20008 (tel: 202-483-1407), and consulates in Washington DC, Honolulu, Houston, Miami, New Orleans, New York, Philadelphia, San Juan, San Diego, and Tampa.

For more background information on the political and economic environment of the country, please click on the link below for the U.S. Department of State Background Notes: http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/bgn/2030.htm#political.

Government of Panama website: http://www.presidencia.gob.pa/.

For More Information

The U.S. Commercial Service in Panama can be contacted via e-mail at: enrique.tellez@trade.gov;

Phone: 011-507-317-5080; or our website: www.export.gov/panama.