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Nicaragua exports over US$1 billion in textiles during 2010
Mar '11
The Nicaraguan Association of Textile and Apparel Industry (ANITEC, for its acronym in Spanish) recently announced that during 2010 Nicaragua surpassed its annual projections of textile and apparel exports, exceeding the one billion dollar mark for the first time in history. Nicaragua's textile and apparel exports grew by 14 percent in 2010 when compared to 2009, reaching US$1,018.1 million and confirming a vigorous recovery of the industry and over compliance of goals.

Currently, Nicaragua holds third place in the DR – CAFTA region in terms of textile and apparel export growth during 2010, preceded by El Salvador with a 26 percent increase and Honduras with 17.5 percent, while countries like Guatemala, Dominican Republic and Costa Rica follow with 4.7, 2.1, and -16.9 percent, respectively.

In terms of volume, textile and apparel exports grew by 18 percent compared to 2009, reaching 362.9 million SMEs. This growth has allowed Nicaragua to become the 12th largest textile and apparel exporter to the United States in export volume, improving from the 13th position held in 2009.

Items such as cotton dresses, jackets, coats, cotton shirts, blouses, and pants demonstrated a positive average growth between 20 – 80 percent in 2010, compared to 2009.

Dean Garcia, Executive Director of ANITEC, announced that exports are expected to grow by 10% in 2011, exceeding US$1,100 million. He stated that this year ANITEC will work to “improve the competitiveness and productivity of the industry”, and affirms that at least three existing companies will be expanding in 2011, creating around 3,000 new jobs.

There are over 65 textile and apparel companies operating under the Free Zone regime in Nicaragua, mainly segmented into apparel manufacturing (shape wear, work wear, sports uniform, etc.) and textile production (denim and twill). In 2010, Free Zone exports represented 41 percent of the country's total exports, reaching US$1,575.3 million, which represents a 28 percent growth compared to 2009.

During the past 10 years, Nicaragua's textile and apparel industry has experienced an 11 percent average growth in value and 14 percent in volume of exports. Trusted names presently operating in Nicaragua's textile and apparel industry include Target, Dickies, Gap, The North Face, Ralph Lauren, and Walmart, among others.


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