By Nica Biz – June 2, 2021
After experiencing a run of job losses earlier this year in the Zona Franca sector, Nicaragua has recovered the lost jobs with new businesses providing employment in Nicaragua under the Tax Free Regime.
Pedro Ortega, Secretary General of the Confederation of Free Zone Workers (CST-ZF) confirmed that so far this year there have been several thousand new jobs generated by three companies with investments from Korea, Taiwan and Canada. Ortega said with that direct foreign investment, Nicaragua has recovered the lost jobs from this year’s Zona Franca closures.
One of the companies; Texnica (Nica-Biz has previously reported on) has already started operations in Nicaragua with a direct investment from Taiwan capital. The Texnica factory is located in the City of Managua at Portezuelo on La Carratera Norte. Texnica has generated a total of 1,800 much needed direct jobs since February of this year.
Gildan, a Canadian company, also opened in Chinandega at the Piero Coen Industrial Park creating jobs for 700 workers and already has plans for 800 more jobs. They are on target to generate more than 2,500 jobs by October this year
The third company, located in Masatepe, has generated more than 800 jobs. They have plans for an expansion into Tipitapa and Niquinohomo with factories that will create more than 4,000 jobs by later this year.
The Zona Franca sector is showing an 11% growth this year and expects to close out 2021 with a gain of 10,000 new jobs.
The Zona Franca “Tri-Party Wage Agreement” for the minimum wage category of “Industries Subject to a Special Regime” awarded an 8.25% annual increase January 1st, 2021 as per a 5 year labor agreement. This multi-year agreement has helped investors avoid uncertainty in the Zona Franca Sector
Central Bank of Nicaragua (BCN) stats show an overall gain in the number of Zona Franca businesses from 189 to 192 and a growth in employees from 113,622 employees to 121,521 workers.