Increasingly globalised country
In recent years, Nicaragua has joined regional, multilateral and bilateral agreements, showing a clear interest in globalisation. The country is currently part of the Central American Common Market (MCCA) and has also established free trade agreements with several countries.
UK-Central America association agreement
The UK has signed the UK-Central America association agreement which includes Nicaragua.
Find out more about the status of the association agreement and how it may benefit your business.
Top five UK goods exported to Nicaragua, in the four quarters to the end of Q1 2023
|Miscellaneous metal manufactures||610000.0|
|Road vehicles other than cars (capital)||610000.0|
|General industrial machinery (capital)||580000.0|
|General industrial machinery (intermediate)||260000.0|
|Scientific instruments (capital)||230000.0|
Total import value (into the UK from Nicaragua) and export value (from the UK into Nicaragua) over time
|Year||Imports (£million)||Exports (£million)||Total trade (£million)|
ONS UK total trade: all countries, seasonally adjusted
Last updated: July 2023
Total trade is the sum of all exports and imports over the same time period.
Download the latest trade and investment factsheet for Nicaragua.
Nicaragua: at a glance
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Opportunities for exporters
There are opportunities for UK companies across a broad range of industries. Our trade advisers in Nicaragua have identified particular opportunities for UK businesses in the following sectors:
Nicaragua's capital city, Managua, has a moderate to high English language proficiency with great signs of growth. In 2022, Nicaragua ranked as one of the countries with the most progress in English language proficiency in Latin America. This provides an opportunity for UK companies to bring their experience to improve English language levels.
Strategy for English education
Nicaragua's education system has implemented the 'Strategy for English Education' since 2018. This uses audiovisual materials to improve oral competence in English, as well as strategies to facilitate the teaching process. UK companies have a great opportunity to provide expertise and guidance in curriculum building at both the primary and secondary levels.
Public Investment Programme (PIP)
The PIP guides the efforts to expand and modernise the country’s infrastructure. Nicaragua would benefit greatly from UK companies with expertise in viability studies, design and construction of medium to large scale projects.
Investment in road infrastructure
Investment in road infrastructure has increased since 2007 when the government doubled the national paved network. Between 2019 and 2021 it invested $514 million within the framework of the 'Road Infrastructure Strategy'. This is evidence of growing opportunities for British companies to provide expertise.
Since 2008 Nicaragua’s government has built 19 hospitals across the country and in 2022 alone invested $153 million in the health infrastructure sector. The government plans to build 12 hospitals between 2022 and 2026. This offers UK companies opportunities to supply experience in construction and also export health equipment.
In 2021, Nicaragua yielded more than $600 million in beef exports, positioning the country as the largest producer and exporter of beef in Central America. An operation of this scale needs innovation to grow, and this is where British companies can bring their expertise in sustainable technology.
Alcohol and sugar production
Nicaragua has cultivated sugarcane for more than 130 years and has doubled production in the last 30 years, yielding hundreds of millions of dollars annually. Because of the high volume of the crops and its derivatives, British companies have a great opportunity to provide the machinery and storage solutions needed.
Electricity generation expansion plan
Nicaragua will implement this plan from 2019 to 2033. The country seeks to promote this sector, investing more than $540 million granted by Banco Centroamericano de Integración Económica (BCIE). British companies can bring their vision and know-how to all the stages of many of these projects, from the drawing board to execution.
Electricity transmission system expansion programme
This programme has a $40 million dollar budget divided in the acquisition of goods, services and consultancies to help provide electricity to Nicaraguans. UK companies can provide their services and bring innovation to this sector competing in the biddings put forth by the BCIE.
Electric mobility programme
This program intends to include electric mobility in Nicaragua’s legislation. It has fiscal benefits for the import and purchase of vehicles, buses, motorcycles and other means of electric transport for public and/or private use. The UK could provide electric vehicles (EV’s) and aid in the development of the infrastructure for them.