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GOVERNMENT

Names:
conventional long form: Republic of Honduras
conventional short form: Honduras
local long form: Republica de Honduras
local short form: Honduras

Digraph: HO

Type: republic

Capital: Tegucigalpa

Administrative divisions: 18 departments (departamentos, singular - departamento); Atlantida, Choluteca, Colon, Comayagua, Copan, Cortes, El Paraiso, Francisco Morazan, Gracias a Dios, Intibuca, Islas de la Bahia, La Paz, Lempira, Ocotepeque, Olancho, Santa Barbara, Valle, Yoro

Independence: 15 September 1821 (from Spain)

National holiday: Independence Day, 15 September (1821)

Constitution: 11 January 1982, effective 20 January 1982

Legal system: rooted in Roman and Spanish civil law; some influence of English common law; accepts ICJ jurisdiction, with reservations

Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal and compulsory

Executive branch:
chief of state and head of government: President Carlos Roberto REINA Idiaquez (since 27 January 1994); election last held 28 November 1993 (next to be held November 1997); results - Carlos Roberto REINA Idiaquez (PLH) 53%, Oswaldo RAMOS Soto (PNH) 41%, other 6%
cabinet: Cabinet

Legislative branch: unicameral
National Congress (Congreso Nacional): elections last held on 27 November 1993 (next to be held November 1997); results - PNH 53%, PLH 41%, PDCH 1.0%, PINU-SD 2.5%, other 2.5%; seats - (134 total) PNH 55, PLH 77, PINU-SD 2

Judicial branch: Supreme Court of Justice (Corte Suprema de Justica)

Political parties and leaders: Liberal Party (PLH), Rafael PINEDA Ponce, president; National Party of Honduras (PNH), Oswaldo RAMOS Soto, president; National Innovation and Unity Party (PINU), Olban VALLADARES, president; Christian Democratic Party (PDCH), Efrain DIAZ Arrivillaga, president

Other political or pressure groups: National Association of Honduran Campesinos (ANACH); Honduran Council of Private Enterprise (COHEP); Confederation of Honduran Workers (CTH); National Union of Campesinos (UNC); General Workers Confederation (CGT); United Federation of Honduran Workers (FUTH); Committee for the Defense of Human Rights in Honduras (CODEH); Coordinating Committee of Popular Organizations (CCOP)

Member of: BCIE, CACM, ECLAC, FAO, G-77, GATT, IADB, IBRD, ICAO, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, INTELSAT, INTERPOL, IOC, IOM, ITU, LAES, LAIA (observer), MINURSO, NAM, OAS, OPANAL, PCA, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WCL, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO

Diplomatic representation in US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Roberto FLORES Bermudez
chancery: 3007 Tilden Street NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 966-7702, 2604, 5008, 4596
FAX: [1] (202) 966-9751
consulate(s) general: Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New Orleans, New York, San Francisco, and San Juan (Puerto Rico)
consulate(s): Boston, Detroit, and Jacksonville

US diplomatic representation:
chief of mission: Ambassador William T. PRYCE
embassy: Avenida La Paz, Apartado Postal No 3453, Tegucigalpa
mailing address: American Embassy, APO AA 34022, Tegucigalpa
telephone: [504] 36-9320, 38-5114
FAX: [504] 36-9037
 

ECONOMY

Overview: Honduras is one of the poorest countries in the Western Hemisphere. Agriculture, the most important sector of the economy, accounts for 28% of GDP, employs 62% of the labor force, and produces two-thirds of exports. Productivity remains low. Manufacturing, still in its early stages, employs 9% of the labor force, accounts for 15% of GDP, and generates 20% of exports. The service sectors, including public administration, account for 50% of GDP and employ 20% of the labor force. Many basic problems face the economy, including rapid population growth, high unemployment, inflation, a lack of basic services, a large and inefficient public sector, and the dependence of the export sector mostly on coffee and bananas, which are subject to sharp price fluctuations. A far-reaching reform program, initiated by former President CALLEJAS in 1990 and scaled back by President REINA, is beginning to take hold.

National product: GDP - purchasing power parity - $9.7 billion (1994 est.)

National product real growth rate: -1.9% (1994 est.)

National product per capita: $1,820 (1994 est.)

Inflation rate (consumer prices): 30% (1994 est.)

Unemployment rate: 10%; underemployed 30%-40% (1992)

Budget:
revenues: $527 million
expenditures: $668 million, including capital expenditures of $166 million (1993 est.)

Exports: $850 million (f.o.b., 1993 est)
commodities: bananas, coffee, shrimp, lobster, minerals, meat, lumber
partners: US 53%, Germany 11%, Belgium 8%, UK 5%

Imports: $990 million (c.i.f. 1994 est
commodities: machinery and transport equipment, chemical products, manufactured goods, fuel and oil, foodstuffs
partners: US 50%, Mexico 8%, Guatemala 6%

External debt: $4 billion (1994 est.)

Industrial production: growth rate 10% (1992 est.); accounts for 22% of GDP

Electricity:
capacity: 290,000 kW
production: 2.3 billion kWh
consumption per capita: 445 kWh (1993)

Industries: agricultural processing (sugar and coffee), textiles, clothing, wood products

Agriculture: most important sector, accounting for 28% of GDP, more than 60% of the labor force, and two-thirds of exports; principal products include bananas, coffee, timber, beef, citrus fruit, shrimp; importer of wheat

Illicit drugs: transshipment point for narcotics; illicit producer of cannabis, cultivated on small plots and used principally for local consumption

Economic aid:
recipient: US commitments, including Ex-Im (FY70-89), $1.4 billion; Western (non-US) countries, ODA and OOF bilateral commitments (1970-89), $1.1 billion

Currency: 1 lempira (L) = 100 centavos

Exchange rates: lempiras (L) per US$1 - 9.1283 (October 1994), 7.2600 (1993), 5.8300 (1992), 5.4000 (1991); 2.0000 (fixed rate until 1991) 5.70 parallel black-market rate (November 1990); the lempira was allowed to float in 1992

Fiscal year: calendar year
 

TRANSPORTATION

Railroads:
total: 785 km
narrow gauge: 508 km 1.067-m gauge; 277 km 0.914-m gauge

Highways:
total: 8,950 km
paved: 1,700 km
unpaved: otherwise improved 5,000 km; unimproved earth 2,250 km

Inland waterways: 465 km navigable by small craft

Ports: La Ceiba, Puerto Castilla, Puerto Cortes, San Lorenzo, Tela, Puerto Lempira

Merchant marine:
total: 271 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 802,990 GRT/1,210,553 DWT
ships by type: bulk 31, cargo 171, chemical tanker 1, combination bulk 1, container 6, liquefied gas tanker 2, livestock carrier 3, oil tanker 21, passenger 2, passenger-cargo 3, refrigerated cargo 19, roll-on/roll-off cargo 7, short-sea passenger 2, specialized tanker 1, vehicle carrier 1
note: a flag of convenience registry; Russia owns 14 ships, Vietnam 7, North Korea 4, US 3, Hong Kong 2, South Korea 2, Greece 1

Airports:
total: 159
with paved runways 2,438 to 3,047 m: 3
with paved runways 1,524 to 2,437 m: 2
with paved runways 914 to 1,523 m: 4
with paved runways under 914 m: 118
with unpaved runways 2,438 to 3,047 m: 1
with unpaved runways 1,524 to 2,438 m: 4
with unpaved runways 914 to 1,523 m: 27
 

COMMUNICATIONS

Telephone system: NA telephones; 7 telephones/1,000 persons; inadequate system
local: NA
intercity: NA
international: 2 INTELSAT (Atlantic Ocean) earth stations and the Central American microwave radio relay system

Radio:
broadcast stations: AM 176, FM 0, shortwave 7
radios: NA

Television:
broadcast stations: 28
televisions: NA
 

DEFENSE FORCES

Branches: Army, Navy (includes Marines), Air Force, Public Security Forces (FUSEP)

Manpower availability: males age 15-49 1,275,670; males fit for military service 760,113; males reach military age (18) annually 62,405 (1995 est.)

Defense expenditures: exchange rate conversion - $41 million, about 0.4% of GDP (1994)

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