Located at the heart of the Americas, Honduras offers a strategic opportunity for investment in fields ranging from manufacturing and tourism through agriculture to banking and telecommunications. The democratic government with pro-investment attitudes and policies creates a welcoming environment for foreign investors in all sectors and sizes.
In recent years, Honduras has consistently proved to be an attractive destination for foreign direct investment (FDI). Between 2004 and 2008, Honduras received greater inflows than similar economies, making it the leading destination for FDI relative to GDP in Central America. Honduras holds the 30th place in UNCTADs Inward FDI Performance Index, above not only the rest of Central America but also regional and world leaders.
Location, location, location…
Only a two-hour flight or 48 hours by sea from the US, Honduras has an enviable proximity to the largest market in the world. This advantage is magnified by the presence of Puerto Cortes, the largest and most efficient of Honduras´s seaports, on the Caribbean coast. It is the only deep-water port in the Central American isthmus and the first in Latin America to be certified by both the US government´s Container Security Initiative (CSI) and its Megaports Initiative. Thanks to its modern equipment and facilities, 24-hour service and its certifications, Puerto Cortes offers shorter times and procedures and competitive shipping costs.
Honduras strives to keep its competitive edge in world trade through reforms, modernizing infrastructure and investing in its people and institutions. With the addition of CAFTA, Honduras now has free trade agreements with many countries including Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Taiwan, the US, and all other Central American countries. Negotiations are under way for free trade with Canada and the European Union, among others.
Honduras offers a young and active labor force (74% of the population is younger than 35) with an increasing number of qualified, committed bilingual workers. Modern higher education institutions throughout the country are graduating qualified professionals, while labour costs, professional and technicians wages remain among the lowest in the region.
Tourism… warmth and diversity
The natural and cultural heritage of Honduras seems only just to have been discovered by the outside world. The number of foreign visitors has increased by 79.4% since 2003. Modern infrastructure, competitive prices and its strategic location make Honduras a highly popular destination for adventure-hungry tourists from around the world as well as those who appreciate cultural diversity. Caribbean reefs, tropical jungles untouched by modernity, restored colonial cities and mystical Mayan ruins make the country irresistible, but the best part is the warmth and kindness of our people.
Stable democracy, sound economy.
All these qualities are combined in a stable democratic political system whose leaders understand the importance of the rule of law and have put forward policies that promote economic growth, competitiveness and integration into the global economy. The legal system fosters foreign investment through fairness and fiscal and legal incentives, including many long-lasting tax exemptions. More than 120 companies operate in private industrial parks and free zones, which can now be established throughout the country. A modern highway system is about to be completed and will make transport easier, faster and cheaper. Little more than 250km separate the Atlantic and Pacific ports.
The Honduran authorities have identified the clear benefits of maintaining a sound and sustainable fiscal policy in support of macroeconomic stability and to foster growth. Strong efforts have been made to control spending and increase its effectiveness, as well as to expand revenues, while maintaining globally competitive tax rates. As a reflection of our stability, in October 2008 Honduras received a B+ long-term and B short-term foreign and local currency credit rating from Standard & Poors, with a stable outlook.
In the face of the current global economic turmoil, fiscal policy is focused on investment in human capital and infrastructure as well as maintaining the economic growth that since 2006 has pulled 10% of the population out of extreme poverty. The anti-crisis plan put forward by the government includes a massive investment in the road and electricity networks, an important expansion of the port facilities at Puerto Cortes and the start of construction of three hydroelectric power plants.
We welcome you to visit, meet our people and explore our land, one of tremendous diversity, rich culture and great opportunities. Come, enjoy, invest and become part of our bright future!