For Immediate Release: May 5, 2011
Contact: Lorri Crowley (202) 482-3809
Obama Trade Official Highlights International Investment Opportunities in Honduras
SAN PEDRO SULA, Honduras – Francisco Sánchez, Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade, discussed international investment in Honduras during his keynote address at Honduras is Open for Business Investment Conference today in San Pedro Sula, the business capital of Honduras. Sánchez reviewed the opportunity for U.S. business growth through investment opportunities in Honduras.
Following the address, Sánchez participated in a panel with audience members on investment and economic development in Latin America. He reinforced the U.S. government’s support for the the country’s efforts to restore investor confidence in Honduras and emphasized the role bilateral trade and investment plays in creating jobs and spurring economic growth in both Honduras and the U.S.
“The United States continues to be a close partner of Honduras,” Sánchez said. “By expanding trade and investment, we ensure healthy levels of economic growth, which in turn provides a higher standard of living and creates new jobs here and at home.”
While in Honduras, Sánchez met with the Presidents of Guatemala, Panama and Honduras, the Vice President of Nicaragua, and the Deputy Prime Minister of Belize to discuss regional issues. He also met with Honduran government and private sector representatives and discussed opportunities to further expand bilateral trade and investment.
“The U.S. recognizes the important steps the Honduran government has taken to improve the investment climate here,” he said. “There are many signs the economy is recovering and business confidence is improving in Honduras.”
The United States is the largest source of foreign investment in Honduras, with approximately 200 U.S. companies operating in the country, accounting for about 70 percent of total foreign direct investment inflows over the past couple of years. Relatively low labor costs, proximity to the U.S. market, investment protections under CAFTA-DR, and Central America’s best Caribbean port (Puerto Cortes) make Honduras attractive to investors.
The United States is the primary trading partner of Honduras, accounting for about half of Honduras’ trade. For the five-year period that CAFTA-DR has been in force (2006-2010), U.S. exports to Honduras grew by 42 percent, which compares favorably to the 26 percent growth experienced during the five years (2001-2005) before CAFTA-DR. Leading U.S. exports to Honduras include petroleum products, textile fabrics, cotton yarn, electrical equipment, machinery, plastics, cereals, paper/paperboard products, and motor vehicles. U.S. imports from Honduras reached $3.9 billion in 2010, up 18 percent from the previous year. U.S. import growth from Honduras since the implementation of CAFTA-DR has been more modest than U.S. export growth, up 4 percent for the past five year period.
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