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  • Abdiel Basto

IT’S A GOOD TIME TO THINK PANAMA

Everybody is voicing, conjuring or thinking up what a world post Covid- 19 will be like. But do we even know whether there will be a world post Covid- 19? In my humble opinion saying something like that is factually incorrect. It would be like saying we live in a world post Influenza only because there are vaccines that help us fight such virus. This is not like when the Berlin wall fell and you could factually state we entered a world post the fall of the wall; but I digress. What everybody is trying to come up with is an idea of what and how the various industries that impact our lives on a daily basis will look like once we have been allowed to return to work and eventually a certain, hopefully to a large degree, sense of normalcy. In countries like Panama the impact to the health of the country has been kept at a minimum as a result of strict, almost East German style, restrictive measures on movement. The Government acted swiftly to stave off any threats of overwhelming the health system. Out of +700 ICU beds available they have not had the need to occupy 50% of them. This in a way is a major win; the majority has met the sacrifice of civil obedience for the good of those with more potential risks. Having said this, we must realize that our small nation will not escape the impact this health crisis turned economic turmoil has brought on all of the world. However, in every situation there are folks that end up better off than others and we seem to be among those. According to Moody’s on its April 15, 2020 report, Panama´s investment grade Baa1 with stable outlook is confirmed and the country’s outlook specially when compared to other countries in the region is much more favorable. On average during the last ten years, Panama’s economy has grown at a 6.2% rate and its solid foundation will be responsible for a 1% / GDP impact from the ongoing world pandemic vs 3% in other countries. Moody’s forecasts that Panama’s recovery will be not only stronger but that the small Central American country will become the richest, per capita, nation in Latin America in 2021. An expected growth of 3.7% in 2021 will be the result of strong institutions and a progressive fiscal policy; according to Moody’s. And while property markets do not escape the challenging situation ahead, people still will look to travel, invest, and live, even if part time, overseas. They may be more enticed at doing so in areas where social distancing is part of the norm. One may even suggest that folks will be more attracted to lesser dense places; even off the grid, kind of. However, I would contest that being off the grid will equate to being confined to a remote location without access to quality grocery shopping, dining out, and health facilities in exchange for long sweaty beach day outings. Recently, Kathleen Peddicord published a piece for Forbes where she notes that “the possibility of another COVID-19 crisis” may be the reason why “small cities and rural areas offering the possibility for appealing yet physically distanced living will enjoy growing demand”. And this is exactly what we at Trinity Hills Panama have been offering since 2010. An 80 acre (30 hectare) parcel overlooking Los Altos de Campana national park has been carefully designed to house 29 family estates, 10 single family homes, 150 townhome style apartments complete with pool areas, walking trails along the creek, look outs, and a commercial plaza that will house a small grocery store, a coffee house, a produce market and an infirmary. Trinity Hills is located 35 miles West of Panama City and 1.5 hours from Tocumen International airport. The development is over 500 feet above sea level where temperatures are on average up to 2 degrees cooler. At only 30 minutes from Pacific ocean beaches, malls, grocery shopping and more, Trinity Hills is that place you can live a socially distanced yet active life. Golf courses, private and public, as well as restaurants and hospitals are all within minutes and soon everything will be more easily accessible. The government of Panama is currently building a new bridge over the Panama Canal, the third connecting the West to the City of Panama. As well, it is building a new 8 lane access highway into the City from the West and a light rail train whose last station will be located about 25 minutes from Trinity Hills. In addition to all this, the government is also widening the Panamerican highway going West, past Trinity Hills. New companies, mainly food industry, establishing their manufacturing sites around Capira, only 5 miles from Trinity Hills, will provide demand for housing in an area where not only expats have chosen to retire but an increasing number of local business owners and executives have decided to have their weekend/holiday homes. Benefits for Real Estate Investment Panama has a “Progressive Combined Property Tax Law”. The new tax law 66 also enacted an exemption of property taxes on the initial US$120,000.00 of the registered value if the property is considered “Tributary Family Patrimony” (TFP) or "Primary Residence” (PR). If a property qualifies as TFP or PR, then the annual property tax rate is only 0.5% (half of 1 percent) for property values starting from US$120,001 to $250,000, while properties with values of $250,001 and above pay a rate of 0.7% (seven tenths of 1 percent). Any person who is retired or pensioned or is of legal age for retirement (57 years old for women and 62 years old for men) may incorporate their domicile (property) as Tributary Family Patrimony or Primary Residency and benefit from the existing law. In addition, these folks are entitled to generous discounts from restaurants to transportation and including medicines thanks to Panama’s famous Pensionado Program.

While nationals of 50 countries are automatically eligible for Panamanian residency upon arrival in country, investors from nations not on the Friendly Nation list can benefit by investing $300,000 in Panama real estate whether directly or by means of ownership in a Panamanian corporation that owns the real estate asset. Trinity Hills has been conceived for the foreign expatriate looking for a home, primary or secondary, away but close to home, nestled in a tranquil yet conveniently located area; however, the world Post Covid 19 will be different, for a while. In time we all will learn to co- exist with this virus like we do with influenza. In the meantime, our market will not only depend on those traveling abroad for a home at an “off the grid” beautiful and safe place but also in a country where political and economic stability goes hand in hand with capable health crisis management. Panama has now proven that it not only can be a safe place where to park your investments, where capital gain from abroad is not taxed nor required to be declared but also where to live inexpensively and safely.

Investing at Trinity Hills

We are so certain of the success our development will continue to enjoy that we are offering to finance up to 50% of your investment, at 0% rate for up to 12 months and 3.5% per year up to 24 months.

In addition, we will cover costs related to your Visa application and of your dependents whether you are a national of a Friendly Nation as per Immigration Law in Panama or other. Also, we will set you up with an accountant for up to a year as well as aid in the opening of a bank account. *

The world will not end as it did not after the financial meltdown of 2008 specially since this crisis has not had its genesis be the result of corporate greed. Thus, we invite you to take advantage of the many opportunities the market is already offering, including TRINITY HILLS.

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