• Nicaragua


    Development Challenges

    Nicaragua’s recovering economy is the second best in Central America for starting a business. High levels of investment, increasing stability of the government and labour, fiscal and financial sectors, and trade freedom, have contributed to economic growth in recent years. Nicaragua is primarily an agricultural country: its agrarian economy has historically been based on the export of cash crops such as bananas, coffee (the country’s leading export in terms of value), sugar, beef and tobacco. Light industry (maquila), tourism, banking, mining, fisheries, and general commerce are expanding, while the services sector continues to be the largest component of Nicaragua’s GDP. The country faces development challenges, including:

    • Recover from civil war
    • High dependence on remittances from Nicaraguans living abroad
    • Soil erosion and pollution from the heavy use of pesticides
    • Large percentage of subsistence farms, where food is grown mainly for the consumption of the farm family instead of for sale
    • Unemployment and underemployment
    • Minimum wage among the lowest in the Americas
    • Relies on international economic assistance to meet internal and external debt financing obligations
    • Poverty
    • High public debt burden

    Key Trade Issues

    • Need of better infrastructure
    • Need to built more deepwater ports
    • Need to reduce inflation
    • Need to increase foreign investment
    • Need to diversify the economy and trading partners

     Government Priorities

    • To change the industrial mix of the country and achieve decentralization, in order to help to slow the growth of the largest cities, while assisting in the redistribution of income and development of economies in impoverished areas
    • To continue regional and international integration (ALBA, CAFTA, free trade agreements)
    • To implement socialism in Nicaragua and eradicate poverty


    Trade and Tariff Graphs

    Graphs of the country’s export markets, its export performance in a key sector and tariffs exporters of a sample product face.
    Trademap sample Trademap sample: The map uses color codes to illustrate the relative size of different markets in the overall exports of the country shown in pink.
    Trademap sample Trademap sample: The vertical axis shows import values by key importing countries, while the horizontal axis shows export values by the country for the same sector. I.e. the country has gained market share in the case of an importing country at the bottom right of chart and lost market share for countries top left. The size of circles is proportional to market size.
    Market access map sample Market access map sample: The world map shows trade values and tariff levels for a key export product by importing countries. Color codes indicate protection levels. Red circles denote trade volumes.

    Trade and Investment Data

    Detailed data on the country’s export performance, key imports and foreign investment, grouped by product and service categories (HS and BOP).

    Trade Information Sources

    A listing of country specific print and online publications on trade related topics. Includes information from both ITC and external sources.

    Trade Contacts

    The most important trade contacts, including importers’ and exporters’ associations, trade support institutions, trade promotion organizations and institutions providing business development assistance.