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Caribbean & Central America - January 2018 (ISSN 1741-4458)

Economic Highlights

NICARAGUA | New agreement to open markets with Colombia. Nicaragua’s Vice President Rosario Murillo last month announced a new deal with the Colombian government regarding the opening of markets between the countries. The announcement was made on the side-lines of the World Trade Organisation’s (WTO) annual meeting which took place from 10-13 December in Argentina’s capital, Buenos Aires. The announcement was hailed by the Nicaraguan government led by President Daniel Ortega and the private sector as key to efforts to join the Latin American Integration Association (ALADI) which currently has as its members Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Cuba, Ecuador, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay, and Venezuela. This is the latest sign of closer cooperation between the two countries since March 2017 when Nicaragua’s 92-member unicameral legislature approved a bill repealing a law (‘Ley 325’) which had established a 35% tax on products from Colombia in 1999 as part of a territorial dispute (which also included Honduras). The Ortega government argued that the tax – which was repealed for Honduras in 2003 – was no longer necessary following a 2012 ruling by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on the dispute.

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