A stable industry based on talent and trust

The light manufacturing industry is an important economic engine and one of the most dynamic sectors of Nicaragua’s economy. The manufacturing of goods has come a long way in diversifying its processes, becoming increasingly sophisticated in order to offer higher value-added investment options.

 

Industry highlights 

  • Main exporter of automotive harnesses in Central America 
  • Provider for brands such as FORD, GMC, BMW, VOLKSWAGEN, CHRYSLER
  • Main exporter of knitted fabrics in Central America (cotton)
  • Over 1,000,000 square meters of industrial space occupied by Free Trade Zone companies
  • 45 percent of the country’s total exports in 2018

 

At glance

18.7%

of GDP

US$2,545

million exported

+US$410

million invested

126

companies operating in the Free Trade Zones System

89,581

jobs 

Country exports

shirts

Shirts

jeans

Jeans

medical-equipment

Medical equipment

footwear

Footwear

jewelry

Jewelry

fabrics

Fabrics

automotive-harnesses

Automotive harnesses

plastic-bags

Plastic bags

Key sectors

 

Automotive components manufacturing

Nicaragua's light manufacturing industry has grown to include higher value-added operations, such as the manufacture of automotive components. The country offers diverse investment opportunities related to the manufacture of auto parts in Nicaragua, such as carpets, linings for seats, interiors, among others.
Two of the world's largest manufacturers of auto wire harnesses, Yazaki from Japan and Dräxlmaier from Germany, have established successful operations in Nicaragua.

Medical device manufacturing

Nicaragua's light manufacturing industry has evolved to include even higher value-added operations, such as the manufacture of medical devices. The production of these shows a continuous growth in our country, evidenced by the expansion of manufacturing companies such as Command Medical and Medisut, which specialize in the production of needles, catheters, cannulas, and general surgical devices. The magnitude of the market in disposable surgical products and articles as explained under tariff code 9018 proves that Nicaragua has a consistent production capacity for its competitive labor force and the ability to access the world's most important markets.

Footwear manufacturing

Nicaragua is emerging as a very attractive platform for footwear manufacturing operations. Currently, the country exports leather footwear, synthetic sandals, rubber boots, and industrial footwear. The main export markets are currently the United States, the European Union, Costa Rica, and Panama.  An important niche where Nicaragua is particularly competitive is the manufacturing of leather footwear and its export to the US market since it has a flexibility benefit from DR-CAFTA. This benefit allows the usage of non-originating raw materials and applies for the HTS code 64.03.

Other light manufacturing processes

Nicaragua has become an attractive destination for other manufacturing operations ranging from furniture manufacturing to the assembly of medical devices and appliances.

Light manufacturing companies

none
BWA
none
DRÄXLMAIER
none
GILDAN
none
Gravita
none
KONTOOR
none
GSL
none
Tecshoes
none
TEXHONG
none
YAZAKI

Other key industries

Outsourcing Services

Nicaragua is home to over 45 companies in the outsourcing sector, which export higher specialized services to destinations such as the United States, Canada, and Europe.

Agribusiness

Historically called "The breadbasket of Central America", Nicaragua is renowned for its tropical climate and fertile soils ideal for agricultural and forestry use.