COUNTRYAAH, Honduras is a poor agricultural country, which is
financially dependent on the export of coffee, bananas,
shrimp and timber. A free trade zone for light industry was
created in the 1980s. Up to the 1990s, the economy was
characterized by great government interference. After
external pressure, i.a. from the International Monetary Fund
(IMF), the policy has been changed. An extensive
privatization process has contributed to, among other
things, a significant reduction in foreign debt. At the same
time, falling prices on the world market for the country's
traditional products have had a negative impact.
Establishment of US military bases in the country has had
its economic ramifications. In 1991, for example, the United
States left nearly 75% of its debt in Honduras. The
austerity measures adopted by Honduras in consultation with
the World Bank and the IMF, has had a dramatic effect on the
poor across the poor population. Unemployment is officially
28%, but in fact above 40%. The business world was sharply
restored in connection with Hurricane Mitch in 1998.
The tourism industry on the north coast has gradually
become well developed and attracts foreign tourists.
Agriculture is the main trade route. About. 18% of the
land is cultivated or arable land, while meadow and pasture
cover approx. 30%. Agriculture accounts for almost half of
the employment and approx. 1/4of the
gross domestic product. Bananas, which are grown on US-owned
plantations in the northern part of the country, have
traditionally been the most important export growth and
stood in the early 1990s for approx. 30% of the country's
export revenue. However, production has slowed down and
coffee has taken over as the most important export product
from agriculture. High quality coffee is grown in the
highlands, partly here also on plantations, but mostly on
small farms. Furthermore, sugar cane and coconuts (in the
Bahia Islands in the Caribbean) for export. For the domestic
market, especially corn, rice, beans, millet, yucca and
flour bananas, as well as some cotton and tobacco are grown.
Cattle and pigs are especially kept from livestock.
Forest covers approx. 1/3 of the
area, and the timber is an important export. A large paper
and pulp mill and several sawmills have been set up in
Olancho province east of the country.
The mining operation contributed 2% of GDP in 2001 and
employed 0.2% of the working population. Lead, zinc and
silver are the main export goods; gold, copper and iron are
also extracted. Small quantities of petroleum are extracted
offshore, but the country relies on importing petroleum, ia.
for the production of electrical energy. Four hydroelectric
power plants with a total production capacity of 431 MW
supply electricity to the north coast and the central part
of the country. In 2016, the production of electric energy
8.8 TWh, of which thermal power based on fossil energy
amounted to almost 50 percent. Hydropower was the most
important renewable energy source with a share of 27
The industry is mainly based on the processing and
processing of the country's agricultural products. In 2002,
the industry contributed almost 30% of GDP and employed 20%
of the working population. San Pedro Sula is the most
important industrial center. Major industries (by value) are
the food industry, petroleum refining, beverage production,
wood processing and the manufacture of chemical products.
Honduras is struggling with a large deficit in its
foreign trade. The main export goods are coffee, bananas and
shellfish. Otherwise, timber, meat, sugar, lead and zinc are
exported. Imports include finished goods, chemicals, fuels,
machinery, transport equipment and food products. The United
States is Honduras' most important trading partner, with 54%
of its exports (2000) and 42% of imports. Honduras also has
significant trade with Guatemala, Germany, Japan, El
Salvador and the United Kingdom.
Transport and Communications
Honduras' transport network is relatively well developed.
The railways do not constitute a network that can be used
for anything other than the needs of the railway companies.
The road network was considerably improved in the 1980s,
including with the help of the US Engineering Corps. The
Pan-American Highway connects Honduras with neighboring
countries. Domestic air traffic plays a relatively important
role. International airports can be found at Tegucigalpa,
San Pedro Sula, Roatán and La Ceiba. The largest port cities
are Puerto Cortés, Tela and La Ceiba on the Caribbean, and
Amapala on the Pacific coast.