We recommend this interesting recent article in U.S. News and World Report. Check out this link:


The gist of the article is that millions of Americans are leaving the U.S. to live in foreign countries, and not just retirees looking for an inexpensive place to live out their golden years. Many of the new expats are young people in their 20s and 30s. What they find in places like Panama are business opportunities that no longer exist at home, where every market niche is crammed to overflowing with goods and services produced by people just as smart and hardworking as them.

In any North American city, it´s hard to go two blocks without tripping over a Starbucks, a bagle store, a designer furniture store, a juice bar, or any number of other small businesses. Here in Panama it is equally hard to find businesses of this sort, especially in tourist-related sectors -- because ¨customer service¨ has traditionally been an oxymoron in Panama.

The point is that there are lots of business opportunites here, in part because Panama is not a developed country and lots of market niches are empty or under-serviced.

Just to provide some examples, here are a three business opportunities I believe can be found in many areas of  Panama:

International quality restaurants. Where I live, in the City of David, there are no western quality restaurants. This is an empty market niche.

Translation Services. I´m not talking about tourist guides, although there are opportunities there, too. What I am referring to is people who can speak and write English and Spanish fluently. If you buy property in Panama, the contracts are in Spanish. Many foreign buyers need to have them translated into English, but there are no competent translators, not even the officially ¨certified¨ones. Many English speaking people who move here also come with little or no knowledge of Spanish. They need help finding houses to rent, shopping for all manner of things, and dealing with govenment agencies. Another empty niche.

Bookstore/Expresso Bar. This is a popular business concept in North America, but you will find few in Panama, and, so far as I know, none that include an English language bookstore.