Panamanian Business and Cultural Etiquette
Please note that you can use US Dollars in Panama. A lot of people in the business sector speak English so this makes it easier for foreigners to do business. In Panama, business etiquette is a unique blend of North America and Latin America.
- You will likely greet with a handshake and eye contact rather than a cheek kiss.
- Reasonable personal space and little touching is commonplace during conversations.
- Be on time for meetings, but expect to wait for others to arrive.
- Many people often have both Spanish and English on their business cards.
Things to Know
- The majority of the population is catholic and conservative.
- Homosexuality is growing in acceptance
- You can negotiate prices in markets and shops
- Some restaurants will include the tip in the bill. If the tip is not included, 10% is the standard rate.
Tips for Taxis in Panama
- Taxis in Panama City are affordable and available.
- Official taxis are safe, even for females traveling alone.
- You can hire a private driver at an affordable rate.
- The cost from Tocumen Airport to anywhere in the city is roughly USD $30.
- Taxis are not metered, but rather they charge by zones and wait time.
- Some taxis may charge you tourist prices so be careful. Negotiate the cost before you get into the taxi and only pay once you reach your desired destination.
- Another way to prevent tourist prices is to walk a few blocks away from your hotel and then hail or phone for your taxi. Do not take one in front of your hotel if you are looking to save money. It is also advisable to carry small bills, again as you would in any city.
- Uber Panama City is also available