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PR in Honduras – Our Story

Any international company wishing to thrive in the market can benefit from working with a Honduran PR agency that understands the unique cultural idiosyncrasies of the country, but also has an international perspective.

Whether you are a consumer brand, business services provider or a disruptive tech start-up, Sherlock Communications is a unique among PR agencies in the Honduras in offering an award-winning team that combines local insight and media contacts, besides decades of international experience.

Whether it’s media relations, social and digital media, influencer campaigns, performance marketing or inbound lead generation, Sherlock’s Honduran team has a proven track record of delivering great results for international clients, from disruptive tech companies to blue-chip brands.

Market Overview

The economy’s main key areas include manufactured goods produced by local assembly plants, known as maquiladoras, particularly in textiles, along with tourism and the construction industry. Ten years ago, economic growth was increasing and reached 4% in 2008. However, since then the global economic crisis, along with a domestic political crisis, adversely affected this growth.

Previous to this, in 2004, the government signed a ‘Letter of Intent’ for a new Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility (PRGF) with the IMF, giving Honduras debt relief under the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) initiative.

During Juan Orlando Hernández’ presidency, Honduras’ government has been working closely with the IMF, continuing the pressure on the country to strengthen its fiscal policy. Then in December 2014, the IMF approved a loan of almost USD 200m supporting a three-year economic programme to maintain macroeconomic stability, increase sustainable economic growth conditions and reduce poverty at the same time.

The country is generally open to foreign direct investment, but this decreased by 16.7% in 2016 compared to 2015, getting up to USD 102bn, which is in the region of USD 202m less than the year before. This fall was attributed to deficiencies in the business environment, including those about insecurity and in legal deficiencies

The Media Landscape

At least half of Honduran households have one television and public television has a far smaller role than in most other Central American countries.

Privately owned terrestrial TV networks are in good supply and there are also multiple cable TV networks on offer. Radio Honduras is the only government-owned radio network, but on top of this, there are in the region of 300 privately owned radio stations (2007).

Honduran radio broadcasts in two bands: FM and AM. Some stations are only talk radio – featuring interviews and discussions, but there are also those which feature a variety of music genres.
The main urban areas all have their own newspapers, for example those based in San Pedro Sula and Tegucigalpa. Honduras also has a number of monthly news magazines and specialised publications.

In 2017 there were 2.7 million internet users in the country – about 32% of the population – and as is the case in most of Central America’s different states, Facebook is the leading social network of choice.

The Economy

Honduras has both a democratic government and a free market economy. According to the World Bank, the Honduran economy is rated as low-middle income, with the fifth largest GDP of the seven Central American countries (USD 23bn). It grew by 4.8% in 2017 and it is forecast to grow 3.5% in 2018 due to the acceleration of the US economy and increasing commodity prices – coffee in particular. Family remittances are also important when sustaining domestic demand, reaching a high of USD 4.4bn in 2017, which accounted for more than 18% of its overall GDP.

Despite Honduras facing major challenges with more than 63% of the population (8.3m inhabitants) living in poverty and an unemployment rate of 5.6% in 2017, the government has been creating and employing new strategies to increase employment, part of the country’s Honduras 2020 plan – a five-year national development programme.

Honduras’ economy has a high dependency on international trade and its economic structure and agriculture is still the major source of employment. Its main trading partners are the United States, Central American countries and the European Union, in particular Germany.

Its main exports are agricultural products and clothing manufacturing. The main agricultural exports are coffee (20.6%), bananas (11.2%), palm oil (7.6%) and shrimp and lobster (7.1%). Its imports are mainly manufactured goods including machinery, equipment and mineral products. Total exports came to a figure of USD 3.8bn in 2016.

Foreign investment in Honduras is regulated by the Investment Promotion and Protection Act and there are some limits for foreign companies depending on which sectors they operate in, due to the state protecting basic industries and public services, such as the water supply and waste management.

Overall, the Honduran investment climate is still attracting big investors, particularly in the textile and tourism areas.

In addition, in recent years, trade between the EU and Honduras has been increasing, with particular thanks to the introduction of the Central America Association Agreement with the European Union (EUCAAA) in 2013. The economy remains strong thanks also to a dynamic private sector.

One of Honduras’ primary achievements is to become one of the top destinations in the Caribbean region. This requires both public and private investment in infrastructure, consulting services, connectivity including airports and airlines and the right human resources. In August 2017, the National Congress of Honduras approved a new Tourism Promotion Law which includes a package of incentives for investment.

The direct contribution of Travel & Tourism to GDP was USD 1, 224.0m, 5.5% of total the total contribution of Travel & Tourism to GDP was HNL80.5bn (USD 3,352.0m), 15.0% of GDP in 2017 and is forecast to rise by 4.7% in 2018. Tourism also directly supported 187,000 jobs – 4.7% of total employment – which is expected to rise by 3%.

The Capital – Tegucigalpa

With a population of 1.19 million, Tegucigalpa is the largest city in Honduras along with its twin sister, Comayagüela, which are physically separated by the Choluteca River and located in department of Francisco Morazán.

The capital city is nation’s political and administrative centre. It hosts 25 foreign embassies and 16 consulates and as well as several state-owned organisations including the ENEE and Hondutel. Honduras’ national energy and telecommunications companies are also located in the capital.

The city’s governing body is the Central District Mayor’s Office, which is part of the Municipal Corporation. In addition, the governor’s office of Francisco Morazán is also located in Tegucigalpa.

Its revenue in 2009 was recorded by the city government reported at a total of 1.955 billion lempiras (US$103,512,220) which is more than any other capital city in Central America, except Panama City.

Due to the overcrowded and congested roads which have been the result of the inability of the city’s infrastructure to keep with the growth in population, both current national and local governments have taken steps to improve and expand this, as well as to reduce poverty in the city.

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If you would like to learn more about PR in Honduras, find out how Sherlock Communications can help you meet your business objectives in Honduras or simply have an informal chat do call or drop us a line:

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+55 11 3817 5852

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contact@sherlockcomms.com

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