Published on September 5th, 2011
Nicaragua's Congress recently ratified the free trade agreement (FTA) between Central America and Chile, with the objective of boosting and diversifying bilateral trade and promoting investment.
The FTA between the Central American region and the South American country, as well as the bilateral protocol between Nicaragua and Chile, was approved by majority of votes in Congress.
“With this treaty, Nicaragua opens its doors to various opportunities, allowing it to increase and diversify its exports and attract more investment, as well as technology transfer”, commented the President of the Economic Commission of Parliament, Walmaro Gutierrez. He also mentioned that Chile imports more Nicaraguan rum than the country’s own traditional drink called the pisco.
This new agreement establishes a zero tariff access to key products such as meat, natural honey, seafood, fruits, vegetables, cheese, sugar, rum and coffee, as well as products from small and medium enterprises (SMEs) such as handicrafts, hammocks, chocolates, shoes, and rocking chairs, among others. Additionally, the approval of the treaty will open a new market of 17 million people with high purchasing power for Nicaraguan products.
In 2010, Nicaragua exported approximately US$5.3 million to Chile and imported US$18.1 million, according to figures of the General Customs Department (DGA, for its acronym in Spanish).
In April 1998 in Santiago, Chile, the Presidents of Chile, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua agreed to help accelerate the process of the hemispheric integration through direct negotiations to establish a free trade agreement. The negotiation process culminated on October 18, 1999 with the signing of the regulatory text of the Free Trade Agreement between Central America and Chile, leaving only bilateral negotiations imminent.
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