China’s economic slowdown and the plunge in global commodity prices has hit much of Latin America, but the impact on Central America has been more subdued.
From Panama to Guatemala, growth rates are looking stronger when compared to many other countries in Latin America, with cheaper crude prices actually providing a boon to many of the fuel-importing countries in Central America. An uptick in tourist spending and remittances are also giving a boost to the region’s economies.
Panama has long been one of Central America’s most robust economies. But Nicaragua has also stood out for maintaining healthy growth levels, despite being one of the region’s least developed countries.
The government of Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega, who is known for his fiery anti-capitalist rhetoric, has been steadily making moves to implement more business-friendly economic policies. The steps including hiring Lazard Frères to help promote the government’s success in managing the economy in the hopes of luring more investment.
Investment has long been a key goal for both governments and Central American corporates.
But many analysts say more work needs to be done both by public institutions and private sector businesses in the region.
In the LatinFinance Central American Investors report, we explore President Ortega’s handling of the Nicaraguan economy. We also take a deeper look at how businesses and institutions in Central America need to do more to increase transparency to attract investment. LF