In June 2021, the Honduran Council of Private Enterprise (COHEP) presented the “Sustainable Business Strategy 2022-2025” during the National Enterprises Assembly (ENAE) in Tegucigalpa. The Strategy is the result of a collaboration between COHEP, the Honduras Center for Economic and Social Investigation at the National Autonomous University of Honduras (UNAH-IIES), and the USAID-funded Transforming Market Systems (TMS) Activity. LINC serves as a subcontractor to ACDI/VOCA on TMS, providing expert support with monitoring, evaluation, and learning, and piloting and implementing solutions that use a systems perspective to development. This includes identifying potential leverage points among actors in selected market systems and enabling those actors to be the drivers of change.
Through the Strategy, COHEP and UNAH propose structural reforms to achieve mid- and long-term inclusive economic growth and sustained development, and to improve competitiveness in Honduras. The document addresses 64 areas for improvement along eight cross-cutting areas: the rule of law, governance, tax policy, financial systems, market structures, innovation and entrepreneurship, human capital, and health.
Some of the key recommendations in the Strategy include: increase the country’s Doing Business ranking and public investment in education and public health, improve the Human Development Index (HDI), and become a more attractive market to Foreign Direct Investment (FDI). The document details specific actions to work towards these objectives.
The Strategy also includes a Market Systems Diagnostics (MSD) that pinpoints the main challenges Honduras faces in its efforts to achieve economic recovery and inclusive job creation. According to the Diagnostic, the most important and challenging areas for the progress of Honduras’ market systems are the rule of law, corruption, the quality of the public administration, fair competition, and enterprise digitalization. LINC experts helped develop the Diagnostic by working closely with COHEP and UNAH to conduct complex systems modeling to identify key leverage points to improve economic growth and job creation.
COHEP also shared the Strategy with Honduras’ Presidential candidates and political parties, with the intention that the next administration will include the recommendations as part of its policies. Honduras Presidential Election will take place in November 2021.
Finally, President Biden’s envoy to the Northern Triangle, Ricardo Zuñiga, who was present via teleconference in the ENAE, expressed the commitment of the Unites States Government to the development of Honduras, but noted the importance of conducting the appropriate reforms to make the country more appealing to foreign investment and international cooperation.