Loss of competitiveness in the region has been a constant factor in recent years due to problems in infrastructure, transportation and energy costs.
Although the sector's exports to Central America have maintained a relatively stable rate of growth, entrepreneurs say their products have lost competitiveness against the food industries in neighboring countries, due to the high costs of energy, transportation and infrastructure.
Medicines, textiles, melons, palm, foliage and leaves, have experienced significant declines in the value of exports in recent years.
Nacion.com reports that "when comparing income in 2009 (when the global crisis hit and sales were strongly affected) with last year, for foliage, leaves and other goods the fall is 29.7% ".
In addition, during the same period, sales revenue fell by 13.3% for melons, textiles generation fell by 10.6% and medicines plummeted by 83%. On the other hand is the palm, whose earnings have had major ups and downs. Comparing 2009 with 2012 there was an increase of 23%, however, when comparing 2012 with 2011, there was a drop of 12%.
The Gruma company (Grupo Maseca) is analysing the construction of a corn processing plant in 2012.
Mexico's ambassador in Nicaragua, Raul Lopez Lira, told El Nuevo Diario that company representatives recently visited the country to hold meetings with different sectors of the economy and government authorities.
Even with the high raw material prices hitting Central America, the Gruma Group continues to consolidate its presence and expects to invest some $20 million in 2009.
Roberto Gonzalez, director general of Gruma Central America, confirmed that the Group has huge expectations for growth.
What were Gruma Group's earnings last year?
Gruma Central America has operations in the region from Guatemala up to Costa Rica and also has plants and exports to other countries in the Caribbean and Panama. 2007 was an excellent year for business, growth was at 55%.
Demasa, a food producer belonging to the Mexican Gruma Group, has been operating on Costa Rica soil since 1973.
Being a leader in the cultivation of palmetto provides various advantages in markets where they enjoy this product, however it also means that you must innovate and develop new technology that provides added value. This characteristic, far from being a problem, improves Demasa's performance.
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