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Nicaragua, Second Least Competitive Country In Latin America

Nicaragua, Second Least Competitive Country In Latin America

By Daliana Ocaña / Voice of America
November 07, 2019

Nicaragua ranked 109th among 141 countries in the World Economic Forum (WEF) ranking in its Global Competitiveness Index for 2019.

Juan Carlos Baca, a homeless man who lives in the streets of the Larga Espada neighborhood in Managua, reads a newspaper on March 26, 2019. (Photo: Maynor Valenzuela / AFP)

According to these figures, WEF ranked the Central American country as the second-least competitive in Latin America, only ahead of Venezuela.

Economist Enrique Sáenz told Voice of America that Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega wasted the country’s human and economic resources.

“In terms of competitiveness in the knowledge-based society, the key lies in education, and Ortega hasn’t taken any steps forward, instead moving back,” the expert said.

Commenting on WEF’s data, Sáenz said: “It’s no wonder that Nicaragua comes last in competitiveness, and as long as Ortega is in power, there is no solution to this situation, unfortunately.”

Meanwhile, Sergio Maltés, president of the Chamber of Industries of Nicaragua, said that investors use this index as a reference when the time comes to decide where to take their capital, which is key to job creation.

“These are the consequences of the crisis that we have been suffering since last year [2018]. What’s happening? As we lose competitiveness, we’ve increased production costs because of all the government’s tax reforms. This affects prices, and it’s difficult to maintain product quality; plus, it’s a long-term threat,” Maltés said.

According to the assessment, one of the most important worldwide, Nicaragua also faces poor usage of technology, as reflected by the scarcity of  fixed and mobile broadband internet subscriptions.