According to the UN Human Development Index, Panama presents the highest human development in Central America, with consistent high economic growth. A 7% GDP increase is expected per year till 2020, which is the double of the average Latin American country. However, the UN also informs that climate vulnerability in Panama is increased by lack of opportunities, unequal income distribution and poverty, lack of risk control and of a culture of prevention. Besides, water resources in rural areas are threatened by deforestation and pollution due to agro-chemical use. Distribution of wealth aside, Panama is, in absolute terms, classified as an upper-middle-income country in spite of the fact that more than 50% of the rural population still lives in poverty, as it does 96% of all indigenous Panamanian population.
Panamanian official figures of the year 2000 presented by the government to the IPCC in its last country report inform that the main source of total CO2 emissions in the country belongs to mining, particularly to cement production, which accounts for 84% of total emissions.
The construction industry, together with telecommunications, the Panama Channel, commerce, Free Trade Zones, hotels and restaurants and financial brokerage, are the main drivers of Panamanian economic growth.