Anyone interested in investing or starting a business in Nicaragua has plenty to consider about the area. Are the economic conditions favorable? What is the business environment like? To really know what to expect, it's necessary to dispel some misconceptions about doing business in Latin America and discover some facts most people don't know about Nicaragua. Here are some lesser-known facts about business and economy in Nicaragua.
It's important to understand exactly why the entrepreneurial world in Nicaragua is burgeoning . Latin America is a rapidly growing market consisting of about 600 million citizens and a $4.8 trillion economy. More than 50 million Latin Americans have joined the middle class over the past decade. Nicaragua, with a population of 5,991,733, is playing a large role in this Latin American resurgence.
Below are 10 additional things you probably didn't know about Nicaragua:
- Nicaragua has transformed itself into one of the safest and fastest-growing countries in Latin America. In fact, Nicaragua has been ranked with the lowest crime rate in Latin America by Interpol.
- Lower operating costs, favorable trade conditions, and low rates of corporate and investment taxation mean that it's easier to turn a profit in Nicaragua than in many neighboring countries.
- Nicaragua is one of the easiest countries in Central America to establish a business.
- There have been significant investments in infrastructure such as electricity, water and sewage, and road construction.
- Over the past decade Nicaragua has implemented some reforms that will positively impact individuals looking to invest in the country or do business there.
- Foreign direct investment, or FDI, is on the rise. According to IndustryWeek, "while foreign direct investment (FDI) worldwide fell 18 percent in 2012, FDI to Latin America grew 7 percent."
- The growth of the middle class in Nicaragua has resulted in a well-educated workforce of millions of new consumers.
- The U.S. is the country's largest trading partner, providing 25 percent of Nicaragua's imports and receiving about 60% of its exports. About 25 wholly or partly owned subsidiaries of U.S. companies operate in Nicaragua.
- The service sector in Nicaragua is very active. It accounts for 56.8 percent of the country's GDP and an estimated 52 percent of the active population is employed in this sector.
- The 2011 Doing Business Report, published by The World Bank Group, a report that benchmarks various indicators of the investment climate in 183 nations, ranked Nicaragua as the top location in Central America in starting a business, investor protection, and closing a business.
With the reasons listed above it's not hard to see why approximately 60,000 U.S. citizens visit Nicaragua every year, most of them businesspeople and tourists. So what are you waiting for?