Economy of Honduras

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Economy of Honduras

Post  kosovohp on Wed Oct 20, 2010 10:50 pm

The economy has continued to grow slowly, but the distribution of wealth remains very polarized with average wages remaining low. Economic growth in the last few years has averaged 7% per year which has been one of the most successful growths in Latin America, but 50%, approximately 3.7 million, of the population still remains below the poverty line.[40] According to the World Bank, Honduras is the third poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, after Haiti and Nicaragua. It is estimated that there are more than 1.2 million people who are unemployed, the rate of unemployment standing at 27.9%. However, according to the Human Development Index, Honduras is the 6th poorest/least developed country in Latin America, after Haiti, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Guyana, and Bolivia.

Honduras was declared one of the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries by the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund which made it eligible for debt relief in 2005.

Both the electricity services (ENEE) and land-line telephone services (HONDUTEL) have been operated by government agencies, with ENEE receiving heavy subsidies because of chronic financial problems. HONDUTEL, however, is no longer a monopoly, the telecommunication sector having been opened to private-sector companies after 25 December 2005; this was one of the requirements before approving the beginning of CAFTA. There are price controls on petrol, and other temporary price controls for basic commodities are often passed for short periods by the Congress.

Gold, silver, lead and zinc are produced by mines owned by foreign companies.[41]

After years of declining against the U.S. dollar the Lempira has stabilized at around 19 Lempiras per dollar. In June 2008 the exchange rate between United States Dollars and Honduran Lempiras was approximately 1 to 18.85.

In 2005 Honduras signed the CAFTA (Free Trade Agreement with United States). In December 2005, Honduras' main seaport Puerto Cortes was included in the U.S. Container Security Initiative.[42]

On 7 December 2006, the U.S. Departments of Homeland Security (DHS) and Energy (DOE) announced the first phase of the Secure Freight Initiative, an unprecedented effort to build upon existing port security measures by enhancing the U.S. federal government’s ability to scan containers for nuclear and radiological materials overseas and to better assess the risk of inbound containers. The initial phase of Secure Freight involves the deployment of a combination of existing technology and proven nuclear detection devices to six foreign ports: Port Qasim in Pakistan; Puerto Cortes in Honduras; Southampton in the United Kingdom; Port Salalah in Oman; Port of Singapore; and the Gamman Terminal at Port Busan in Korea. Since early 2007, containers from these ports are scanned for radiation and information risk factors before they are allowed to depart for the United States

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