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Region: trade diversification

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Central America is diversifying its export markets. A decade ago, more than half of Honduras' exports went to the United States. The nation’s number two market was the rest of Central America.

What a difference a decade makes. In the first half of this year, Honduras sent 35 percent of its exports to the European Union. The North American bloc of the US, Mexico and Canada accounted for 30 percent, followed by the rest of Central America at 18 percent.

During the period 2000-2010, Costa Rican trade with the United States declined from 58% per cent of the total in 2000 to 38% last year, with significant increases in exports to Panama and the Caribbean, as well as China, although much of the latter involves shipments between Intel plants.

The United States remains the leading market for Nicaraguan coffee and other exports. But Venezuela is the country's number two trading partner, and its importance is growing.