Nicaragua's Free Zones closed 2019 with 123,000 jobs and exports close to 3 billion dollars, with better prospects for 2020, the Vice President of the National Free Zones Commission, Alfredo Coronel, told PASTRAN REPORT. "The free zone industrial sectors that generate the most jobs are textile apparel with 72,080 jobs, for 68.6%; Tobacco sector with 15,231 jobs for 12.4%; Automotive Harnesses with 13,561 jobs, for 11.1%.
And it is maintained that for each direct employment in Free Zones 3 indirect jobs are generated, "said Colonel. In 2006 the country had 80,000 workers in Free Zones and exports close to 800 million dollars and a salary of 1,600 cordobas , today the minimum wage is 6,800 córdobas, counting today with 50 Industrial Parks and 221 User Companies. He stressed that up to the end of November, 2,858.27 million dollars had been exported through Free Zones, "and with the closing to December we could perfectly reach 3 billion dollars. "
Comparing with the rest of the region in this same period, Guatemala had a decrease in its CAFTA Zone exports by 4.42%; El Salvador had a fall of 2.24% and the Dominican Republic had a reduction of 3.47%. Meanwhile, Nicaragua increased between January and November 2019 to 11.96% with 1,665.94 million dollars to the United States according to official data from the Textile Office of the US Department of Commerce (OTEXA), followed by Honduras with 9.64% . "This shows that the big brands remain, they have not lost interest in Nicaragua. If we continue with the peace, stability, growth of the sector, this pace of exports this year we could incorporate some 15 thousand new jobs in Free Zones and move on of the 3 billion dollars in exports, "he said. Textiles and Harnesses: Colonel said that "the textile apparel sector is characterized by being the sector with the greatest weight in total exports of the Free Zones regime with 61.3%, having as main markets to the United States, Honduras and Mexico."
The second sector with the greatest weight is the Automotive Harness sector with 17.2%. Together both sectors add up to November of last year 2,243.6 million dollars, however, the Tobacco Sector and the Outsourced Services sector also contribute ... CIF Free Zone imports totaled 1,734.8 million dollars in this period, with an added value of 846.1 million dollars. He confirmed that the National Free Zones Commission authorized last December seven new companies that will operate in processing and exporting Nicaraguan Tobacco and Cocoa, investing more than 8 million dollars ... The CAMANICA shrimp company installed in Puerto Morazán, Chinandega, will expand its operations this year in our country by bringing shrimp from Ecuador to process it here and export it to various markets. "With this expansion of operations we expect to increase stable jobs in the West by 1,500, especially Chinandega," said Alfredo Coronel. Similarly, companies engaged in the production of African Palm oil in Kukra Hill, in the South Caribbean, increased the planting, harvesting and processing of the Palm and are even promoting another plant in El Rama ... Colonel said that in a visit they recently made The construction of the popular Chinese capital Texhong Textile Plant is progressing at a good pace, with an investment of more than 200 million dollars. "They are going to have the advantage of having the entire production chain such as spinning mill, textile, dyeing, sewing. In the maturity of the project, which can be in about 3 years, at cost and medium term they can be hiring 3 thousand people and selling to very important customers in the United States and in the CAFTA region and that will be an anchor for other industries that are not yet present in Nicaragua, "he noted ... The China Texhong plant will have a three-story building that is already being built of up to 180 thousand square meters of construction, with highly technical machinery. It is of popular Chinese capital. It will provide production and services to other textile companies installed in Nicaragua.