Foreign Investment Figures in Central America

In 2016 44% of foreign direct investment in the region was concentrated in Panama, and a fourth consecutive year of increases was recorded, with 16%, while Costa Rica received 27% and increased by only 1.1%.

Monday, August 14, 2017

From chapter I of the report "Flows of FDI in Latin America and the Caribbean", by the ECLAC:

FDI into Central America grew by 3.7% in 2016 and totaled 11,833 million dollars .The increase in investments to the two main recipients of the subregion -Panama, which recieved 44%, and Costa Rica, 27%- compensated for the drop in FDI to the other Central American countries.

With growth of 15.9%, Panama received investments of US $5.209 billion in 2016, a record figure that was reached after four consecutive years of increases and which is part of an upward trajectory that began in the mid-2000s. With this value, the country ranked sixth in Latin America and the Caribbean, behind Peru.  The largest component of FDI that entered Panama was the reinvestment of profits (66% of the total) and the level remained at levels similar to those of 2015 (up 2%).  Loans between subsidiaries accounted for 19% of total FDI and fell by 7%, while capital inflows accounted for 15% and remained the smallest component of FDI as in the last four years.  

See report by the CEPAL "Foreign Direct Investment in Latin America and the Caribbean 2017" (In Spanish).

More on this topic

Which Economies Attracted the Most Investment?

August 2019

Panama and Honduras were the only two Central American countries to report increases in foreign direct investment in 2018 over the previous year, with year-on-year changes of 36% and 3%, respectively.

The growth of investments directed to Panama, which concentrated 51% of the sub-regional total, explained the increase that was reached in 2018 in Central America (9.4%), since except Panama and Honduras, the Central American countries received less Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) than in 2017, explains the report "Foreign Direct Investment in Latin America and the Caribbean 2019", produced by the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC).

Panama: FDI Up 21% in 2018

March 2019

During last year, foreign direct investment flows in the country totaled $5.549 million, 21% more than in 2017.

The most recent figures from the General Comptroller's Office of Panama detail that between 2017 and 2018 the flow of Foreign Direct Investment increased by $980 million, going from $4.569 million to $5.549 million.

Central America: Foreign Direct Investment Up 10%

September 2018

Partly explained by the regimes created to encourage investment in different sectors, countries in the region went from receiving $11 billion in 2016, to $12.1 billion last year.

According to a study by the Center for Economic Integration Studies, in 2017 inflows of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in the region reached a record figure of $12.083 billion, registering an increase of 9.8% compared to 2016. When analyzing the period from 2010 to 2017, it can be seen that the inflow of FDI has increased considerably, showing a growth rate of 7.9%.

Honduras: Foreign Investment Up 5% in 2015

March 2016

The country attracted $1,203 million last year, with highlights being an increase in capital from countries in the region such as Panama, Colombia and Guatemala.

In 2015 flows of foreign direct investment (FDI) from Latin America were higher than those received from North America, totaling $437.8 million, the largest share (36.4% of total), according to the Central Bank of Honduras.

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