Nicaragua with Positive Results After Four Years of DR-CAFTA

The event was inaugurated by Robert Callahan, U.S. Ambassador in Nicaragua, and Roger Arteaga, President of AMCHAM.

Online PR News – 13-May-2010 – – The Dominican Republic - Central America Free Trade Agreement (DR-CAFTA), which entered into force in 2006, has contributed significantly in increasing Nicaraguan exports to the United States market and in fostering the development of companies that benefit from this agreement.

The results and challenges of the DR-CAFTA were discussed recently in a conference organized by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the American Chamber of Commerce in Nicaragua (AMCHAM) on the occasion of the agreement's fourth anniversary.

In these four years, Nicaraguan exports to the U.S. grew from US$1,181 million in 2005 to US$1,611 million in 2009. Additionally, nearly 320 small and medium size companies have been able to develop and benefit from the agreement, helping create new jobs, improving their capacity and quality of their products and successfully entering the U.S. market.

The event was inaugurated by Robert Callahan, U.S. Ambassador in Nicaragua, and Roger Arteaga, President of AMCHAM. The event program included an assessment of the results of the agreement and future challenges and a panel on green energy, as well as a presentation by Walter Bastian, Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Western Hemisphere of the U.S. Department of Commerce, on how education is an essential element for the development of trade.

Bastian also took the opportunity to meet with General Alvaro Baltodano, the Presidential Delegate for Investments of Nicaragua, in order to discuss ways to further improve the country's business climate and promote investment from the U.S. Baltodano heads the public-private investment promotion agency PRONicaragua, whose mission is to generate economic development and job creation in the country by attracting high-quality foreign direct investment. The agency offers complimentary support services to qualified investors interested in exploring investment opportunities in the country. After the meeting, Bastian and Baltodano stated that both countries will continue working together to strengthen trade relations between the two countries, foster the creation of new jobs and help increase Nicaragua's export competitiveness.

The U.S., besides being Nicaragua's main trade partner (buying nearly 30 percent of the country's export offer), has also been one of the main origins of foreign direct investment (FDI) during the last couple of years. In 2009, U.S. investments in the country totaled US$57.8 million, which represents nearly 13 percent of the total FDI registered in Nicaragua that year.