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Panama Country Profile
Panama is the southernmost country of Central America. Lying at the crossroads of the North and South American continents and the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, Panama is of immense strategic importance.
Panama has the largest rainforest in the Western Hemisphere outside the Amazon Basin and its jungle is home to an abundance of tropical plants, animals and birds - some of them to be found nowhere else in the world. However, it is for a feat of engineering, a canal connecting the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, that Panama is famous. Every year hundreds of thousands of people make the eight-hour journey through the waterway and it generates a proportion of the country's GDP.
Full name: Republic of Panama
Population: 3.5 million (UN, 2010)
Capital: Panama City
Area: 75,517 sq km (29,157 sq miles)
Major languages: Spanish, English
Major religion: Christianity
Life expectancy: 74 years (men), 79 years (women) (UN)
Monetary unit: 1 balboa = 100 cents
Main exports: Bananas, fish, shrimp, petroleum products
GNI per capita: US $6,710 (World Bank, 2009)
Internet domain: .pa
International dialing code: +507
President: Ricardo Martinelli
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