FDI inflows into central America remained at a stable level in 2014, data from greenfield investment monitor, fDi Markets, shows. Panama, Honduras, Nicaragua and El Salvador all saw either a slight contraction in the number of FDI projects or received the same number of investments in 2014 as they did in 2013. The region’s relatively good result for 2014 comes against a 16% decline in number of FDI projects in the whole Latin America and the Caribbean region, according to data published recently by The fDi Report, fDi’s annual publication on global investment trends.

Panama closed 2014 with 30 new FDI ventures (the same number as in 2013), ahead of Guatemala and Honduras, which both received 13 projects in the year (in 2013, they received 16 and 14 projects, respectively) and Nicaragua with 11 projects (14 projects in 2013) and El Salvador with 10 projects (the same as in 2013).


The only country in central America that recorded a sharp slump in FDI inflows last year was Costa Rica. In 2014, received 32 projects, down by 27% compared with 2013. However, the level of investments into the country can be expected to rebound in 2015, as Luis Guillermo Solis, a pro-business and pro-FDI candidate, won the presidential election in Costa Rica in mid-2014.

Among the most active investors into central America, similarly as in 2013, US and Spanish companies led the charge last year. US-based firms launched 49 projects in 2014 (up from 45 in 2013), ahead of Spanish companies with nine (down from 10 in 2013). Significantly, four countries from central America (Costa Rica, Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador) made it to the list of top 10 investors in the region. The list of top 10 investors in central America in 2013 featured only one – Guatemala.