LIGHT MANUFACTURING SECTOR
The Light Manufacturing sector is the most dynamic within the free zone regime; currently 111 companies are established generating around 86.266 direct jobs.
The main sub-sectors are:
- Textile and Apparel
- Automotive Wire Harnesses
- Medical Devices
- Electronic Equipment Assembly
- Other Assemblies
The National Free Zones Commission is betting heavily on attracting more companies of the Automotive Wire Harnesses industry, as this industry is growing exponentially worldwide. This growth represents a great opportunity for Nicaragua in attracting new businesses considering that the country offers a competitive cost structure, skilled workforce and proximity to major markets, among others.
However, the largest share retains in the traditional textile and apparel sector generating around 69.457 jobs (65% of total jobs within the free zone regime) and represents more than 50% of total exports of the free zone regime, and has continued its vertical integration of the industry with the establishment of new textile companies such as Pride Denim which produces denim fabrics and the growth of established companies, which will soon include the production of knitted fabrics.
Nicaragua is among the first countries in the Latin America region to successfully implement the Better Work program in textiles and apparel; led by the International Labor Organization, the World Bank, together with unions, government and private sector promoting the improvement of working conditions in the country.
In the Agribusiness Sector there are 50 companies within the free zone regime generating around 17,500 direct jobs.
This sector is continuously growing mainly in the areas of processing cigars, shrimp, flowers, vegetable oils, vegetables, proteins, organic honey and manufacture of doors and wooden furniture.
The Government is betting heavily in the Agribusiness sector considering that Nicaragua is an agricultural country and it is necessary for exports to have more added value. It is projected the opening of industrial processing of other agricultural crops such as cocoa, peanuts, beans, corn and cotton, besides promoting the generation of added value through the manufacture of canned consumption, packaged and dehydrated products .
OUTSOURCING SERVICES SECTOR
Nicaragua has become an attractive investment destination for the Outsourcing Services Sector, due to its competitive cost structure, its young and skilled labor force, proximity and cultural affinity to strategic markets and modern telecommunications infrastructure.
The Outsourcing Services Sector currently registers 17 companies under the free zone regime generating around 4,404 direct jobs. In order to strengthen the sector's growth, the National Free Zone Commission together with the IDB, are implementing a project to train young people for their allocation in companies of the Outsourcing Services. With this project companies already established and interested in investing in the sector ensures qualified and trained human resources for this type of operation.