On the other hand, the country’s foreign direct investment (FDI) figures, which refer to the total FDI incomes minus all capital outflows and foreign payments, reached US$845 million, a 5 percent increase in comparison to the US$805 million accounted for 2012.
“These historic figures are the result of the continuous efforts of the Government of Nicaragua, with the support of the country’s private sector, to continue improving the investment climate and our country’s image”, acknowledged Javier Chamorro, Executive Director of PRONicaragua, the official investment and export promotion agency of Nicaragua. “Foreign investors are attracted to Nicaragua because of its clear rules, economic stability, personal safety, and competitive labor costs, but above all, because they see a government in constant dialogue with the private sector”, added Chamorro.
Foreign investment gross inflows during the year were generated by a total of 324 projects, originated from a total of 39 countries. In 2013, the top five origins of foreign investment gross income were the United States (30%), Mexico (15%), Panama (13%), Venezuela (9%) and Spain (7%), which together represented more than 73 percent of total investment in Nicaragua.
Additionally, foreign investment gross inflows were registered in twelve different economic sectors; the top five were industry (38%), mining (20%), trade and services (11%), financial (10%), and telecommunications (10%), which altogether accounted for 88 percent of the total. Furthermore, US$240 million corresponded to companies operating under the free zones regime, which represented an increase of 78 percent in comparison to the US$135 million obtained in 2012.
With these results, Nicaragua obtained a 7.5 percent FDI/GDP ratio, well above the average 5.6 percent of the Central American region. In addition, the United Nations highlighted in one of its recent investment reports that “in relation to the size of its economy, Nicaragua is one of the countries that most received FDI in Latin America”.