Honduras taps US consortium to boost its image

TEGUCIGALPA, HONDURAS: The Honduran government's investment promotion agency has hired a consortium to promote Honduras among US investors from the travel and tourism, agribusiness, light manufacturing, and services industries.

TEGUCIGALPA, HONDURAS: The Honduran government's investment promotion agency has hired a consortium to promote Honduras among US investors from the travel and tourism, agribusiness, light manufacturing, and services industries. The consortium is led by Washington-based Global Communicators (GC).

GC and its partners, Bethesda, MD-based ad agency Lang & Husak, and Windemere, FL-based marketing firm Global Partners Consulting will work under a 10-month deal worth more than $1.1-million.

Work will include media outreach to trade press and general news outlets such as CNN, CBNC, and Fox Business News. The group will also use traditional advertising; and “road shows” at conventions. The conventions, to be held in various US cities, will bring together investors and representatives of the consortium's Honduran client, the Fundacion para la Inversion y Desarrolo de Exportaciones (FIDE).

While Honduras faces ongoing questions about government corruption and freedom of the press, as is the case elsewhere in Central and South America, GC President and CEO Jim Harff notes that Honduras receives funding through the US Millennium Challenge Account, which supports governments that are moving toward democratic reform and free markets.

More generally, Honduras may still be associated with the Iran-Contra affair of the 1980s and its history as a “banana republic,” both literally and figuratively. But Harff notes that subsequent government reform, as well as the passage of free-trade legislation CAFTA, has opened many new investment opportunities.

“We did an initial survey last year for this same group to determine US business attitudes toward Honduras, and what we found was ignorance,” Harff said. “Generally, business people have very little knowledge of the potential of the country. So in a general sense we'll work to raise awareness as fairly, honestly, and positively as we can and tell some good stories about what's happening down there to interest investors.”

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