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Honduras



· Population: 7.6 million
· Unemployment Rate: 3%
· Literacy Rate: 84%
· Official Language: Spanish & English (in the Bay Islands)
· GNI Per Capita: $1,780
· Ease of Doing Business rank: 131st of 183
· S&P's Currency Risk Rating: B
· Economist’s 2010 Democracy Index: 88th (Hybrid Regime)
· Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Index: 134th, score of 2.4


With a long history in manufacturing, Honduras looks set to climb the value ladder to professional services. Can the country produce enough talented labor to meet firms’ demand, or will the market become quickly saturated like so many others before?  At present, Honduras offers a largely untapped labor pool as its young BPO industry grows.  Manager of language training firm CEDS said, “It’s a very new market. Any company coming here is going to find an excited labor pool and a business environment that’s happy to have them”.  Their president, Pepe Lobo, supports outsourcing in the nation with increased foreign investment.  Compared with the average Central American population, Honduras offers a higher percentage of English speakers as a proportion of the total number citizens.  For more information on investing in Honduras, visit http://www.hondurasinfo.hn/invest/en_03aasp

     



Honduras: Designated Murder Capitol of LATAM

While attempting to flee Honduras for the U.S., Maynor Gutierrez was kidnapped in a shelter for illegal immigrants in Mexico City. After being released, Gutierrez commented on his continued resolve to escape to the U.S., "It can't be worse than Honduras." Under President Profirio Lobo, the security situation in Honduras continues to get worse. With 82 murders per 100,000 people, Honduras had the highest homicide rate in the world in 2010. Honduras, along with Central American countries Costa Rica and Nicaragua, have become major transit countries for the smuggling of illegal drugs into North America. Along with drug trafficking comes all associated dangers, including drug-cartel related violence, kidnapping, bribery, corruption in local law enforcement and government agencies.

This begs the question: is Honduras a safe place to work or travel? The United States Bureau of Consular Affairs recently warned against cartel-related dangers as well as a high frequency of political demonstrations ending in police intervention. Under the leadership of President Lobo, who took office last year, there is little promise of improved stability in the near future.

Read it here at USA Today

or visit the U.S. Bureau of Consular Affairs.



Honduras Cuts Security Tax after Angering Businesses


                                      

In response to US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's claim that wealthy elite and businesses of Central America aren't doing their part to combat drugs trafficking and violent street gangs, Honduran President Pepe Lobo endorsed a fiscal package aimed at increasing the state's anti-crime budget. However, opponents of the plan claimed that the tax hikes would discourage business. Intended tax increases included a 5% base metal export tax and a 3% bank withdrawal tax, from which the private sector argued that tax revenues would far exceed the desired $79 million annually. Two laws from the proposed plan stay in place: a 1% tax on mobile telephone companies and a 0.5% tax on fast-food restaurant profits. Lawmakers hope that the revised tax plan will provide sufficient revenue to make a dent in the drug and violent crime problems without making it impossible for private enterprise to survive. The question remains as to which factor will be more detrimental the Honduran private sector: high taxes, or unsafe perceptions of the country that could discourage external investors? In 2010, Honduras had a homicide rate of 77 murders per 100,000 inhabitants, and Mexico, a country constantly painted by the US press as being violent and dangerous, had a homicide rate of only 14 per 100,000 inhabitants.



Read it here at Reuters.

Welcome to Honduras







Jet Blue Prepares to Offer More Flights
to Latin America




Jet Blue may become the airline of choice for companies with nearshoring strategies...

 
JetBlue Airways Corp., with 65 daily trips to the Caribbean and Latin America, may fly to more distant international destinations as it adds fuel-saving winglets to planes and receives new Airbus SAS A320neo jets.


The changes, along with replacing smaller Embraer E190 jets with bigger planes on some routes, will allow the New York-based carrier to fly farther and carry more passengers. JetBlue announced a $2.5 billion order Tuesday for 40 A320neos.


The plan will allow JetBlue to expand its strategy of focusing flying in New York, Boston and the Caribbean. The carrier said it also is likely to use Airbus A321 aircraft it will receive to boost service on high-demand cross-country routes between New York and San Francisco and Los Angeles.







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