Business Environment in Honduras

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Pictures of COHEP Conference in Honduras with ILO and government representatives

The challenge

COHEP LogoCOHEP (Consejo Hondureño de la Empresa Privada) which translates to the Honduran Council of Private Enterprise aims to tackle immediate issues and problems faced by enterprises in Honduras. Entrepreneurs require that COHEP  advocate for a better business environment with emphasis on the day-to-day issues faced my employers. However, COHEP is lacking a structured and developed proposal for their long-term agenda.

COHEP is well known for its capacity to respond to the agenda of the government and other key stakeholders. However the organisation is viewed as reactive rather than proactive. COHEP has not clearly defined the obstructions to  investment and employment generation.

In addition, the Honduran National Business Council and its member employers’ organizations have been unable to develop a coherent communications strategy. COHEP’s relationship with employers and society is not clearly defined and their objectives are not formalized.

How employers' organizations dealt with it

In 2012, COHEP together with the ILO’s technical cooperation began a project with the objective of identifying and defining the main barriers that prevent the country from having an appropriate environment for investment and enterprise development.

Based on this analysis COHEP would be able to implement an effective national business agenda. The reference framework for this project is the “Practical Guide to Create an Adequate Environment for Sustainable Enterprises”.

The result, outcome and main interventions

This reference guide advices the implementation of a national perception survey and an analysis of the country’s main economic variables.  With assistance from the ILO, COHEP designed and applied a survey which focuses on enterprise. The survey was structured in a way that it can be applied to a diverse range of companies from different economic sectors.

With this project, COHEP has been able to develop its long term National Business Agenda. This development started in the second semester of 2013 and helped COHEP to strengthen its institutional presence. COHEP created a media campaign in the frame of the EESE project and has now enhanced its capacity to influence public policy.

The immediate and expected long term result

COHEP’s National Business Agenda was presented to candidates to the Presidency of the Republic of Honduras and to each political party. It was also presented to the National Congress and the Executive Branch. Furthermore, there was a presentation to the media, the entire business community, opinion leaders and the country’s universities.  Following these activities a working group composed by the Government, the Executive Branch, and COHEP was created.  The role of the working group is to review the main items set in the National Business Agenda and to consider opportunities to promote the proposed changes. Economic advisors of the candidates to the Presidency of the Republic of Honduras will also collaborate with the working group in these discussions.

In this context COHEP designed and implemented a communications and dissemination campaign. This underlines the necessity of having a proper atmosphere for investment and employment generation. With these new tools, (Diagnostic, Business Survey, National Business Agenda, and Communications Strategy), COHEP will be able to strengthen its proactive role and its presence within the business community and society in general.