Country Listing

Honduras Table of Contents


Foreign Investment

With the exception of relatively recent, Asian-dominated investment in assembly firms along Honduras's northern coast, the country remains heavily dependent on United States-based multinational corporations for most of its investment needs in the early 1990s. Overall investment as a percentage of GDP declined dramatically during the 1980s, from about 25 percent in 1980 to a meager 15 percent in 1990. Dole Food Company and Chiquita Brands International together have invested heavily in Honduran industries as diverse as breweries and plastics, cement, soap, cans, and shoes.

As Honduras enters the 1990s, it faces challenging economic problems. The solutions relied on in the past--traditional export crops, the maquiladora assembly industry, and 1980s' development schemes--appear unlikely to provide enough new jobs for a rapidly growing population. The major economic challenge for Honduras over the next decade will be to find dependable sources of sustainable economic growth.

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In general, Honduras receives little scholarly analysis. Bibliographic sources for Honduras are mainly to be found in books about Central America, and, for the most past, Honduras is allocated less coverage than its neighbors. The annual Economic and Social Progress in Latin America report of the InterAmerican Development Bank is one of the most thorough sources. Banana Diplomacy: The Making of American Policy in Nicaragua, 1981-87, by Roy Gutman, provides a good comprehensive background for understanding the evolution and complexities behind Honduras's political and economic problems. Poverty, Natural Resources, and Public Policy in Central America, by Sheldon Annis and contributors, is a valuable analysis of possible solutions to the many problems confronting the region. Finally, specialized regional newsletters, particularly Latin American Newsletters [London], Central America Report; and Business Latin America are important sources for specific economic information on all the countries of the region. (For further information and complete citations, see Bibliography.)

Data as of December 1993