The number of people employed in Nicaragua’s free zones sector has reached a new high, thanks to a boom in apparel and textile exports.

According to figures released by the Nicaraguan Government, 92,000 people were employed in the country’s free zones sector at 30 June this year, up 23.5% on 2010 and comfortably beating the previous record of 89,198, established in February 2008.

The jobs boost has come after companies affiliated to the Nicaraguan Association of the Textiles and Apparel Industry (ANITEC) recorded 25.1% growth in export value and 21.1% growth in export volumes over the past year.

Jose Adan Aguerri, president of the Superior Council of Private Enterprise (COSEP), said the uninterrupted growth could result in 100,000 jobs in the free zone sector by the end of this year.

“We are assisting investment projects that are already established in Nicaragua in order for them to expand their operations this year, leading to the creation of at least 3,000 more job opportunities,” Aguerri added.