The signing of a new ESAF agreement with the International Monetary Fund marks the beginning of a new era in the administration and performance of the Nicaraguan economy. The said program's primary goals are to ensure macroeconomic stability, enforce fiscal, monetary, and credit policy discipline. At the same time, it establishes general guidelines for a national development plan.
It is evident that the implementation of the ESAF means sacrifices for all segments of society, particularly for those sectors which require an infrastructure and a social services base. Nevertheless, these bitter policies which must be adhered to constitute the necessary medicine to bring about a healthy economy. These policies count among their direct benefits: the acquisition of resources necessary to close the our financial breach and the reduction of a considerable part of our external debt.
The great commission has become the general growth of the economy and an increase in employment necessary to considerably reduce our current problem--poverty, a dilemma which is not only social in nature but also economic.
The reality is that an economy with a per capita GDP of less than $500 a year offers only limited opportunities to a private sector which has a great desire to grow. In order to reach this growth, it is necessary to elaborate an integral plan of development which defines clear sectional and microeconomic objectives and policies, thus permitting the productive sectors to work in a dedicated and coherent way in the priority areas. If we take a glance at our neighboring countries, we can see examples of how success can be reached when clear goals are set. In Costa Rica we see a clear orientation towards the microprocessor and other high-tech industries and Honduras also has a very clear economic development leader. In order to reach similar success, Nicaragua must pick her own sectors are areas as priorities. That is not only the government's responsibility, but also each and every enterprise's as well.