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What is the Panamanian balboa (PAB)?

Credit Ratings & Outlook

In the latest credit ratings from December 1970, Moody's gives Panama a Baa3 rating, with a positive outlook. Fitch has a stable outlook with a BBB rating. Finally, S&P last issued a BBB- rating, with a positive outlook.

Sovereign credit ratings play an important part in determining a country’s access to international capital markets, and the terms of that access. Sovereign ratings help to foster dramatic growth, stability, and efficiency of international and domestic markets.

GDP

In 2010 the total GDP was $26,688,773,969 in US Dollars, while the per capita GDP was $7,588. It grew by 4.83% over the previous year.

Unemployment

The latest unemployment rate for 2011 is 5.60%.

Consumer Price Index

The latest consumer price index for 2010 is 122.59.

Political Structure

The current head of the government is President Ricardo Martinelli, who is also the head of state (in an executive role).

Currency Details

The official currency of Pakistan is the rupee (PKR). One rupee consists of 100 paise (singular = paisa). When Pakistan began printing its own currency in 1948, they used Indian currency with “Pakistan” stamped on it for the first few months until enough of the Pakistani notes were in circulation. Until 1961, the rupee was divided into 16 Annas before being changed to 100 paise. From the time of the rupee’s introduction until the turn of the 21 st century, it steadily declined in value against the U.S. dollar. Then, Pakistan’s large current-account surplus drove up the value of the rupee until the government lowered interest rates and bought dollars to stabilize the currencies value and maintain its export competitiveness.

Moody’s Rating
Ba1, 27 Nov 2002
S&P Rating
AAA

Sovereign credit ratings play an important part in determining a country’s access to international capital markets, and the terms of that access. Sovereign ratings help to foster dramatic growth, stability, and efficiency of international and domestic markets.

What does it look like?

Political Structure

The Federal Republic of Pakistan is divided into four provinces, one territory, and one capital territory. In 1999, following a military takeover, Chief of Army Staff and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee, General Pervez Musharraf, suspended Pakistan’s constitution and assumed the additional title of Chief Executive. The title of the former head of government, the President, was left in tact as a ceremonial chief of state with no governing power. The Chief Executive appoints an eight-member National Security Council to function as the supreme governing body of Pakistan. The judiciary in Pakistan is the Federal Islamic Court.

Prominent Figures

Chief of State President Ricardo MARTINELLI Berrocal (since 1 July 2009); Vice President Juan Carlos VARELA (since 1 July 2009); note – the president is both the chief of state and head of government
Head of Government President Ricardo MARTINELLI Berrocal (since 1 July 2009); Vice President Juan Carlos VARELA (since 1 July 2009)
Cabinet Cabinet appointed by the president
Elections president and vice president elected on the same ticket by popular vote for five-year terms (not eligible for immediate reelection; president and vice president must sit out two additional terms (10 years) before becoming eligible for reelection); election last held 3 May 2009 (next to be held in 2014)
Election Results Ricardo MARTINELLI Berrocal elected president; percent of vote – Ricardo MARTINELLI Berrocal 60%, Balbina HERRERA 38%, Guillermo ENDARA Galimany 2% note: government coalition – CD (Democratic Change), Panamenista, MOLIRENA (Nationalist Republican Liberal Movement), and UP (Patriotic Union Party)

Key Economic Factors

Pakistan has had a difficult time economically and politically over the past decade. The IMF has established several reform and economic adjustment programs for the country, but domestic political weakness and division have made effective reform elusive. While average annual GDP growth has hovered around four percent, Pakistan’s potential growth rate is probably closer to six percent if it could achieve macroeconomic and political stability. Poor tax collection and administration infrastructure kept the government budget perpetually in deficit and limited the public sector’s ability to fund infrastructure development and basic social services. And, defense spending absorbed a high share of government resources that were available. The major turning point in Pakistan’s fortunes regarding international assistance came in the last quarter of 2001 when the US-led war on terrorism fought its first battle in neighboring Afghanistan. The Musharraf government elected, at no little domestic political risk to its future, to cooperate with the United States and was fortunate to have the first major phase of the war next door end with a new Afghan government it can live and work with and with the gratitude of the United States well-earned. Prospects for aid and debt relief are much improved and progress is already being made that will reduce Pakistan’s international debt burden. Although agriculture is declining as a percentage of total output, this sector remains the primary economic activity in Pakistan. Cotton, wheat, rice and sugarcane are the primary crops, which benefit from an extensive irrigation system. The annual cotton crop is of particular importance as it provides the input to the textile and garment industry, which is the nation’s dominant export industry. Pakistan is attempting to increase its information technology sector, but only three percent of the populace has telephones at home. Having achieved a degree of self-sufficiency in the armaments sector, Pakistan is now promoting arms sales as a means of generating more diversified export revenue.

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