The aim of the business mission is to attract new investment in the maquila and call center sectors.Specifically, one of the lines of business that they want to expand is export of electrical cables used in the Mexican auto parts industry.
Political instability is making both domestic and foreign investors very nervous.
An article in Laprensa.hn looks at how recent political developments related to legal certainty, are worrying Honduran businessmen, as they complicate the promotion of the country as a recipient of foreign investment.
The annual export growth of the maquiladora industry in Honduras is estimated at $200 million, with the entry into force of the trade agreement with Canada.
Laprensa.hn reports that "About 200 million dollars in export growth and the creation of up to 10,000 new jobs is projected for the Honduran maquila industry in 2013 with the entry into force of the FTA with Canada, assured representatives from the sector. Current revenues from maquila plants, just for textiles, total three billion dollars (60 billion lempiras), and these could reach $3.2 billion (L64 billion) when the agreement with Canada comes into effect, which is estimated to be by March 2013. "
Faced with the loss of "competitive advantage" businessmen in the maquila industry are continuing to migrate their operations to Nicaragua.
Jesus Canahuate, director of the Honduran Maquila Association (AHM), said that since March a total of 21 companies in the textile and clothing industry have moved their operations to the neighbouring country.
A new security tax, which aims to raise $80 million, calls into question a $300 million investment and could result in the loss of 15,000 jobs.
This is according to Jesus Canahuati, Honduran business leader and former president of the Honduran Maquila Association, who added that "several investors who were ready to come to the country have now halted their plans," due to uncertainty generated by the new tax.
Since Thursday January 1, the United States has suspended the temporary 7% tariff that it had imposed on sock coming from Honduras.
Nacion.com reported that "this means that Honduras is free from restrictions to export socks and now has a huge opportunity for growth in this area, said Jesus Canahuati, head of the Maquilas Associations, to AP."
The United States has levied a five per cent tariff on imports of socks from Honduras. Although the levy is lower than local producers feared it would be, it is still surprising, given the presence of a free trade agreement between the two countries.
"The import tax that will apply to the importation of socks will be five per cent from July to December and will disappear in January 2009," the president of the Association of Maquiladoras of Honduras, Jesús Canahuati, told reporters.
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