The number of employees in factories in free zones reached 103,000 people in March, a record for the sector in Nicaragua, said Alvaro Baltodano, President of the National Free Zone Commission, CNZF. There are 68,019 employees in the textile sector alone.
The authorities' objective is to encourage the employment of 112,000 people in the free zones by the end of the year, reported Elnuevodiario.com.ni.
"So far as we have passed the 100,000 job mark, we are close to 103,000 and the goal at the end of 2012 is close with 112,000 jobs," said Alvaro Baltodano, President of the National Free Zone Commission, CNZF.
The Nicaraguan Association of Textile and Apparel Industry (Anitec) predicts that in the first half of 2012 there may have investments in the order of 30 to 50 million dollars in the textile sector.
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During the course of the year, the U.S. textile company will restart operations in the country.
The start-up would initially create 700 new jobs.
"The secretary of the National Free Zone Commission (CNZF), Alvaro Baltodano, and executive director of the Nicaraguan Association of Textiles and Apparel (Anitec), Dean Garcia, confirmed to the press that the reopening of the company is underway and will become official in the coming weeks,” according to an article at Laprensa.com.ni.
Millknit Industries will begin operations in early 2013, producing fabrics for clothing companies established in the free zones.
Following the closure of Core Denim in 2009, Nicaragua has had no cloth production, which is a disadvantage for the clothing sector, which has to import its raw materials.
In Nicaragua a proposal has been made to create a training center to improve the labor performance in free zones and attract more foreign investment to the sector.
In order to improve employees skills and increase the productivity and competitiveness of enterprises, the National Commission of Free Zones (CNZF) is proposing the creation of a textile school, where ongoing training on production techniques would be provided for the sector.
In the last six months 25,000 of the 46,000 jobs lost between 2008 and 2009 have been recreated.
José Adán Aguerri, president of Nicaragua's Private Business Council (COSEP), indicated that the greatest recovery was seen in free-trade zones and in the farming and construction sectors.