According to information from the Office of Textiles & Apparel (OTEXA) of the U.S. Department of Commerce, during the first half of 2011 Nicaraguan apparel exports to the U.S. grew by 22 percent in terms of volume, reaching 202 million square meter equivalents (SME), and jumped 27 percent in terms of value, up to US$586 million.
OTEXA data also reveals that although the value of China’s exports to the U.S. grew eight percent during the first semester of 2011, there was a three percent decrease in terms of volume, dropping from US$4,219 in the first half of 2010 to US$4,100 in the same period of 2011.
Furthermore, a recent study by O’Rourke Group Partners found Nicaragua to be the single most competitive option for sourcing numerous apparel products, not just in this hemisphere, but in some cases also compared to China, Vietnam and Bangladesh. Some of the factors contributing to the country’s competitiveness include its low costs, educated labor pool, improving labor productivity, consistent quality, excellent free trade zone system and speed-to-market performance.
Nicaragua's textiles and apparel industry is an important development engine for the national economy, as it employed nearly 59,000 people by the end of 2010 and, during the same year, exported 362.4 million SME, valued at US$1,017.5 million. 2010 was a record year in Nicaragua’ apparel exports history, showing a strong recovery after the international crisis that affected the global apparel industry.
By 2010, Nicaragua was the 12th largest worldwide apparel supplier to the U.S. in volume, thus becoming an important player in the global textile and apparel industry. According to estimates by the National Free Zones Commission (CNZF, for its acronym in Spanish), in 2011 there will be significant growth in Nicaragua’s apparel exports to the world, reaching a total of US$1,300 million, a 28 percent increase versus 2010.
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PRONicaragua is the Nicaraguan Investment Promotion Agency, established in 2002. It is a non-profit, public-private institution whose mission is to generate economic growth and job creation in Nicaragua by attracting high-quality foreign direct investment. The agency provides complimentary support services to qualified investors seeking investment opportunities in our country.