The Republic of Panama lies in Central America between the Caribbean Sea and the North Pacific Ocean and the bordering countries are Costa Rica and Columbia.
The land area totals 75,990 sq km with a population of 3.3 million. The capital is Panama City. The unit of currency used in Panama is the Balboa (PAB), which is pegged at parity to the US dollar. There is no Panamanian paper currency and the US dollar is the de facto official currency for all but minor transactions. The Panama Canal links the North Atlantic Ocean via the Caribbean Sea with the North Pacific Ocean and is of eminent importance.
Panama attained independence with US help in 1903 and ceded land to the US for the Panama Canal. Although all the US territory along the canal was returned to Panama in 1999, the importance of the canal to the US remains vital. This explains the US influence and support for Panama in international affairs.
Legislation in the financial services sector allowing the registration of companies and foundations has placed Panama in an advantageous position. The modern legislation offers many advantages e.g. bearer shares must stay with the registered agent (immobilized), but there is no disclosure to the Registrar of the beneficial owner's identity, low taxation, no requirement to file accounts etc. The Jeeves Group (Panama) Corporation is situated at Panama City.