Nicaragua has a comparatively tiny manufacturing sector with export-oriented manufacturing being concentrated in the Free Trade Zone near Managua. The zone has experienced tremendous growth in the last two years, so much so that there is no more space available in the main area and it has had to expand.
A good portion of the local industries are food and beverage related and as they are slated to begin exporting their products at a substantial rate. However, there is a great demand for fruit extraction machinery, milk processing machinery, and other processing machinery to allow the industry to expand. Since there are no local manufacturing of these products, everything must be imported. There is also heavy demand for agricultural machinery. Nicaragua's total imports of capital goods grew by 16% in 1997, reflecting the heavy level of demand.