TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras, April 21, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- A path for sustained economic growth is being set in Honduras and the progress achieved to date has been endorsed by the international financial community and by international development organizations.
News surrounding Honduras' economic progress has been overwhelmingly positive. From a dramatic 12-spot climb in the 2015-2016 World Economic Forum Global Competitiveness Index, more than any other Latin American country, to a recent endorsement by the International Monetary Fund of the country's economic performance having entered a "virtuous cycle." Additionally, continued GDP growth projections above 3.5 percent and the second-highest level of Foreign Direct Investment in Central America are positive indicators for growth.
In this context, the recent approval by the National Congress of a national development plan dubbed "Honduras 20/20" may be the most ambitious move yet to build on recent achievements.
The plan, developed as a joint initiative of the public and private sectors with strategic support from international consulting firm McKinsey, seeks to generate 600,000 jobs during a five-year period (2016 – 2020), by promoting four key sectors where Honduras has a strong competitive advantage: tourism, textiles, intermediate manufacturing and business process outsourcing (BPOs).
By positioning Honduras as the leading beach destination in Central America, the plan expects to create approximately 255,000 new jobs in the tourism sector in the next five years, while generating an investment of USD $850 million.
Meanwhile, as the textiles industry is restructured to become one of the leading exporters to the United States and Europe, the plan seeks to generate approximately 200,000 jobs with a potential to create USD $ 4.2 billion in exports.
In terms of the intermediate manufacturing industry, through the development of the fastest-growing auto-parts and electrical equipment manufacturing cluster in the continent, the plan expects to create 95,000 jobs and generate exports for an estimated USD $ 2.83 billion.
In addition, the BPO sector aims to focus on developing and training the country's bilingual youth to generate 50,000 jobs and an estimated USD $ 1.45 billion, by focusing on the latest trends in business processing and information technology.
"The implementation of the Honduras 20/20 plan alongside international consulting firm McKinsey and in close collaboration between the country's public and private sectors will be an important step to continue building upon our important economic achievements," said Ebal Díaz, executive secretary of the Council of Ministers. "By focusing on these four key areas of tourism, textiles, intermediate manufacturing and BPO we will be able to generate jobs and unprecedented levels of growth and development in Honduras."
McKinsey has supported the implementation of similar national development programs in dozens of countries throughout the world with a great success rate. One example was the firm's support for Colombia's national development plan that contributed to shaping an important economic transformation in the South American nation and positioning it as one of the fastest-growing and most investment-friendly countries in Latin America.
Honduras 20/20 by the Numbers
Jobs to be created: 600,000
Implementation period: Five years
Projected impact in exports: USD $9 billion
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SOURCE Honduras Presidency