According to a study commissioned by the Inter-American Development Bank, the creative and cultural industries generated 3.1% of the GDP in Panama in 2011, which is more than the sectors of fishery, forestry, water and sanitation, mining and health services together.
The message is, that the creative and cultural industries in Panama are growing. Based on a data survey and interviews performed this year we identified a rich, dynamic and diverse network that includes festivals, theater, music, marketing agencies, and a film industry. Moreover, in 2014 the creative industries represented 6% of all companies and in 2010 generated about 58,000 jobs. These figures prove that the creative industries generate more employment than the financial sector in Panama.
Just to highlight an example, the International Film Festival Panama, which was only recently started in 2012 is now recognized in the regional and global festival circuit and has already generated USD14 million in income for the city, taking into account direct, indirect and induced effects.
Furthermore, in Panama, we can find five sites recognized by UNESCO as World Cultural and Natural Heritage. Among them are the historic fortifications on the Caribbean side of Panamá, Portobelo and San Lorenzo, the Archaeological Site of Panamá Viejo and Historic District of Panamá, and Coiba National Park and its Special Zone of Marine Protection. In fact, in advance of 2019 the celebration of the 500 Anniversary of the City of Panama and the designation of Panama as Ibero-American Cultural Capital, the IDB is exploring working with the Government to rehabilitate and enhance the value of iconic natural and historic sites.
What is happening in the creative and cultural industries in Panama, is only consistent with an important transformation: Creativity is an intrinsic factor of productivity. We are amid the 4th industrial revolution, moving away from manufacturing to digital, bio- and nanotechnology. On the other hand, creativity, will be by 2020 one of the top-3 skills most sought after by employers in the future, according to The World Economic Forum in its Future of Jobs report.
It is encouraging that this week, the City of Panama will be hosting Vitamine C – The Regional Forum on the Creative and Cultural Industries, with the participation of entrepreneurs, government official and experts from the region. With events like this, a vibrant community, and an incredible untapped cultural potential Panama is called to become a creativity hub that will unite north, central and south America. It is therefore not a coincidence that fostering the Orange Economy is now a priority of the IDB’s work in the country.
Creativity is the raw material of the 21st century and Panama, a country at the crossroads of people, ideas and continents is more than ready to tap into it.
And if you believe in the power of creativity and culture to foster economic development in Latin America and the Caribbean, please join our community of creative entrepreneurs.
 Preliminary findings prepared by INDESA this year
 Interviews and data survey was performed in March 2017
 According to information provided by the International Film Festival Panama IFF