The CAFTA Intelligence Center
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Nicaragua

Nicaragua has a population of 6 million and a GDP of about $17 billion. The country’s total annual trade with the rest of the world is about $6-$7 billion. The United States has historically been Nicaragua’s largest trading partner—the source of about one-fifth of the country’s imports, and the destination of over 60% of its exports.

As is the case with most other countries in Central America, Nicaraguans have a preference for U.S. products. With some 110,000 Florida residents born in Nicaragua there are strong cultural affinities as well. Currently, there are over 100 wholly or partly-owned subsidiaries of U.S. companies operating in Nicaragua. The larger investments are in textiles, energy, financial services, light manufacturing, tourism, fisheries, and shrimp farming.  
 
In the past, potential exporters and investors were wary of doing business in Nicaragua. Property disputes, for instance, were very common and enforcement of intellectual property rights was weak. This situation is changing with the implementation of the provisions of CAFTA. Similarly, investment opportunities in free trade zone manufacturing, tourism, and infrastructure projects are improving with CAFTA. 

Meanwhile, the best for exports of manufactured goods to Nicaragua are in vehicles, auto parts and equipment, construction equipment and materials, computer equipment, telecommunication equipment, and agricultural, food processing, and refrigeration equipment.

For more information about Nicaragua, visit any of the following links:  
Doing Business In Nicaragua, U.S. Department of Commerce
The World Factbook, the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency
Background Note: Nicaragua, U.S. Department of State
Country profile: Nicaragua, the BBC
The World Bank Group. Doing Business: Nicaragua
Florida-Origin Exports to Nicaragua
Florida's Merchandise Trade with Nicaragua

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The Florida Advantage

Florida knows this region:

  • Goods worth about $2.8 billion are traded between Nicaragua and the United States each year. Of this, more than $1 billion passes through Florida.
  • Exports of Florida-made goods to Nicaragua total more than $250 million annually.
  • Nicaragua is one of Florida’s top 50 export markets.
  • Florida’s annual exports of Florida-made goods to the CAFTA countries total close to $5 billion, the highest of the 50 states by a wide margin.
  • About 40% of the total volume of merchandise trade flowing between the United States and the CAFTA countries passes through Florida.
  • Florida's airports offer more direct flights to Central American destinations than all other airports in the United States combined.
  • About 110,000 Nicaraguans make Florida home, maintaining cultural and economic ties between the countries.

Learn more about how your business can benefit from a Florida connection to Nicaragua.

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