Panama Teak Forestry Visa
The Future Is Turning Green
Our budding future is evident in all stages of policy making, in the classroom, and in public opinion. Some of the top degree programs securing a rewarding future are for MBA students specializing in resource economics, sustainable agriculture, and environmentally compatible architectural design.
Public interests continue their shift toward renewable energy resources and organic foods. Developing countries are favoring infrastructure that uses natural resources wisely for sustained growth and healthy populations.
Panama is no exception. Its law-making body has crafted policies that allow for modest investments by international interests for the purposes of owning and developing real estate for private or business use. The opportunities for retirees and for entrepreneurs have been tempting. For half the capital needed, they can place their savings in an enterprise, take up residency in Panama, and become citizens within five years.
The Law 24 Reforestation Investment
The pensioner plan is advantageous primarily to retirees and business owners. An alternative course for international investors is participation in the teak reforestation program. Enacted as Law 24 of the year 1992, the design includes an incentive for foreign investors who would like to obtain a permanent visa residency in Panama.
The package deal comes with two options: A minimum small reforestation investment of $60,000 or a minimal large business reforestation investment of $80,000.
There are also legal fees delivered in three phases. These are the Provisional Residency fees and costs (US $2,000), the second renewal (US $1,000) and the Permanent Visa (US $2,000).
The reforestation of teak is critical for Panama’s environmental plan and sustained resource use. Soil erosion from large-scale farming, clear cutting, and ranching projects resulted in a nearly 70% loss of its forests. Because teak grows quickly and easily in tropical areas, and can be harvested through rotation, this seed producing tree provides a sound environmental background for the restoration of renewable resources.
You must pass a police clearance report before you can apply for immigrant status into Panama. All necessary documents are to be issued no more than four months before submitting the visa application.
You must have at least three months remaining on your passport before its expiration date. You must appear in person to the Department of Immigration for the initial visit and all renewals.
All legal requisites are to be handled by a Panamanian lawyer. Your investment must be through a certified teak reforestation program.
Teak Reforestation Is a Long-Term Investment
Teak is one of the most commodious of the hardwood trees. Favored not only for its constructive qualities, its handsome texture and grain make it desirable for cabinetry, framing, and furnishing. Teak resin is typically water-resistant, which contributes to the beauty of the wood and helps protect it from decay, bacteria, fungus, and insects.
Be cautious of companies that offer quick and easy returns. Quality teak requires 20 to 25 years for maturity. Profit margins can be low, particularly in the beginning years of your investment.
However, as one of the world’s leading hardwoods, the demand for teak is high. An investment of $80,000 into five hectares of land will yield approximately $125,000 per hectare by its 25th year.
Some of the benefits are immediate.
- Teak reforestation is a tax-deductible investment.
- The equipment needed for the development of a teak reforestation project can be imported free of tax.
- Exports to the U.S. are tax-exempt within the United States.
- Investments in reforestation projects provide tax exempt interest payments, exemption on dividend payments, and on capital gains.
There are many companies that offer investment into the teak reforestation program. Most of them study all the requirements and obtain the certification necessary for visa applicants to fulfill their residency credentials.
You will find that the average Panamanian company invested in teak demonstrates responsible management and yield roughly the same amount of teak per hectare. The differences are in the packages offered.
Management charges can vary greatly. Commonly, land is measured in hectare in Panama. A hectare consists of 2.5 acres. Without knowing the difference in measurement, you could buy into a package that requires more in management fees per acre than you would be charged per hectare.
Read the fine print. Some companies will sell you the trees but not the land. Your ownership ends with the completion of the final harvest. Make sure you know exactly what you’re buying. Figure the cost of your investment over time, and how much land you’ll be receiving.
Sustainable Teak Production
The key word to modern investment is sustainability. Teak production originated in Asia, primarily in Indonesia, Burma, India, and Thailand. About 28 million hectare of this area is covered by natural teak. Additionally, about 90% of teak plantations worldwide are in Asia.
However, all production of natural teak, except in Burma, has been restrained. Illegal timber poaching is high and there is a constant battle between teak production and land for cattle grazing. In its native soil, teak is plagued by pests that inhibit both growth and quality. Throughout Asia, teak forests are shrinking, with no solid reforestation plans in effect for nurturing renewed growth.
Panama’s Future in Teak
Although teak is able to grow under a variety of soil conditions, its habitat is limited to tropical regions. Typically, it prefers areas with a heavy rain season and accompanying 3-5 month dry season.
Panama’s climate is favorable to teak, and is relatively free from insects that harm teak production. As teak production in Asia wanes, the attention of investors shifts to Central America and its own teak-producing countries.
The uses for teak are numerous. Its natural oils help to keep it from warping, and eliminates the need for protective coating. This unique trait also gives it a great deal of desirability for boat decks and for outdoor furniture.
The demand for the strong, durable wood is expected to reach 135 million cubic meters by 2050. Without vigorous teak cultivation, there will be a deficit.
Teak plantations are the responsible use of renewable resource management. Teak is one of the only plantation species that is resistant to termites and fungi. Trees are grown and harvested according to rotation. In this manner, they are allowed to reach full maturity, delivering a quality product while maintaining a healthy environment.
Law 24 was designed to allow a smooth transition into Panama citizenship while partaking in a program with positive future impact. The world cannot afford the continued dwindling away of forests that provide us with an oxygen rich atmosphere, shelters wildlife, prevents erosion, and generously gives us the products we use in our daily lives.
By investing in teak, you are investing in a quality wood with uses ranging from decorative to practical purposes, such as ship decks, door frames, and furniture. You are investing in a product that analysts predict will not be able to meet the demands of supply by 2050 if Asian production continues its downward trend. You are investing in the greatest favor you can do for your community; you are contributing to the greening of Earth.