Business in Honduras continues to flourish and factories continue to produce high-quality exports.
BY VILMA SIERRA DE FONSECA
Over the past month, the change in government in Honduras has been in the news. The political situation is of concern to all Hondurans, and I can tell you that the business community is united in urging a peaceful and quick resolution.
Unfortunately, the normality of life in Honduras has not received much media attention. Business here continues to flourish, and people are going about their normal lives – working, relaxing, attending school, shopping, visiting friends and family, going out to eat, and so forth. In short, we are operating as usual.
Honduran factories, many in our industrial parks in Free Trade Zones, continue to produce high-quality electrical harnesses, automotive components, textiles & apparel, and many other products for export. Our call centers and other service providers are serving their regional, local and international customers.
From Puerto Cortes, our deep water, Atlantic Megaport, operating under the U.S. Container Security Initiative (CSI), shipments of manufactured and raw items are moving regularly to and from the United States and other markets. The country’s four international airports – in Tegucigalpa, San Pedro Sula, Roatán, and La Ceiba – remain fully open for business.
Cruise ships continue to visit the popular Caribbean island of Roatán, just off the Honduran coast.
In short, Central America’s second largest country remains in perfect position for U.S. companies seeking business and investment opportunities.
Allow me to summarize Honduras’ many advantages, which include:
- Young, industrious workforce comprising 2.9 million men and women, many of them engineers and technicians, who are available at competitive wages.
- Articulate, bilingual employees whose second language is English.
- Proximity to the United States – about two hours by plane from Miami, Atlanta, and Houston and 48 hours by cargo ship.
- Puerto Cortes’ efficient customs process allowing shipments to pre-clear U.S. customs before arrival in the United States, saving time and money.
- Preferential conditions for business with access to the second largest market in Latin America and to the United States through CAFTA-DR and permanent Free Trade Zone status available throughout Honduras.
- Logistic Corridor or Dry Canal connecting the Pacific and Atlantic coasts, offering an alternative to shipping through the Panama Canal.
- Liberalized telecommunications network, competitive mobile and international phone rates, and fiber optic lines.
- Vertical integration and a full-package approach to manufacturing, allowing coordination of all aspects of production.
- Year-round growing season allowing production of a wide variety of crops.
- Prime tourist eco- and geo-tourist attractions – virgin white sand beaches, top-notch diving along the world’s second-largest coral reef, distinguished Maya archeology, colonial cities, tropical rainforests, and living cultures.
- Numerous vocational institutes and technical high schools preparing students for professional careers and providing a rich research resource for businesses.
Finally, we invite you to come see how Honduras is doing business as usual and what we offer.
Vilma Sierra de Fonseca is the Executive President of Honduras' Foundation for Investment & Development of Exports (FIDE).