The World Economic Forum Global Competitiveness Report (2013) ranked the quality of overall infrastructure of Nicaragua 104th out of 148 countries. Among the categories analysed by this survey, quality of port infrastructure, fixed and mobile telephone subscriptions per 100 people are particularly deficient. Currently, international cargo needing large cabotage vessels cannot pass through Nicaraguan ports, so often use Honduran or Costa Rican ports. Moreover, the number of subscription per 100 inhabitants recorded 5.4 for fixed telephone and 89.8 for mobile telephone in 2012. Nicaragua has privatized a significant number of its public utilities and more than 350 state-owned enterprises since 1990. However, the Nicaraguan state still has a very concentrated market in a number of sectors such as port operation, telecommunications, electricity, and banking, partially due to the perceived difficulty in obtaining required licenses. Nicaragua’s banking sector accounts for about 5 per cent of GDP, being one of smallest in Latin America. More than two-thirds of deposits and loans are denominated in U.S. dollars. Many households and businesses (especially in agriculture) have not had access to credit from the formal banking sector because after the closure of state-owned banks, the private banks have had little presence in rural areas.

Source: Bertelsmann Stiftung, 2014, Country Report (Nicaragua)
U.S. Department of State, 2013, Investment Climate Statement (Nicaragua)
WEF, 2013, Global Competitiveness Report
World Bank, 2010, Investing Across Borders (Nicaragua)

Indicator Value Rank/148
Quality of overall infrastructure How would you assess general infrastructure (e.g., transport, telephony, and energy) in your country? [1 = extremely underdeveloped—among the worst in the world; 7 = extensive and efficient—among the best in the world] | 2012–13 weighted average. 2.95 111
Quality of roads How would you assess roads in your country? (1 = extremely underdeveloped; 7 = extensive and efficient by international standards) | 2010, 2011. 3.74 71
Quality of railroad infrastructure How would you assess the railroad system in your country? (1 = extremely underdeveloped; 7 = extensive and efficient by international standards) | 2010, 2011. n/a n/a
Quality of port infrastructure How would you assess port facilities in your country? (1 = extremely underdeveloped; 7 = well-developed and efficient by international standards). For landlocked countries, this measures the ease of access to port facilities and inland waterways | 2010, 2011. 3.46 102
Quality of air transport infrastructure How would you assess passenger air transport infrastructure in your country? (1 = extremely underdeveloped; 7 = extensive and efficient by international standards) | 2010, 2011. 3.95 92
Individuals using Internet (%) Internet users are people with access to the worldwide network. 86.14 102
Mobile telephone subscriptions/100 pop According to the World Bank, mobile cellular telephone subscriptions are subscriptions to a public mobile telephone service using cellular technology, which provides access to switched telephone technology. Postpaid and prepaid subscriptions are included. This can also include analogue and digital cellular systems but should not include non-cellular systems. Subscribers to fixed wireless, public mobile data services, or radio paging services are not included. 13.50 107
Fixed broadband Internet subscriptions/100 pop: The International Telecommunication Union considers broadband to be any dedicated connection to the Internet of 256 kilobits per second or faster, in both directions. Broadband subscribers refers to the sum of DSL, cable modem and other broadband (for example, fiber optic, fixed wireless, apartment LANs, satellite connections) subscribers. 1.65 93