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LatinNews Daily - 01 February 2019

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In brief: Nicaragua

* Nicaragua’s coffee exporters association (Excan) has firmly rejected the new legislative initiative tabled by the government led by President Daniel Ortega to reform the country’s tax legislation. The proposals include increases in corporation tax for large companies (from 1% to 3%) and for medium-sized companies (from 1% to 2%). In a statement, the Excan warned that the new legislation would have a “devastating impact” on the national economy which has been badly hit by the socio-political crisis stemming from the government’s crackdown on anti-Ortega protesters which began mid-April. (The latest figures from the central bank show the monthly economic activity indicator [IMAE] for November 2018 down 5.1% compared with November 2017). Excan warns that in the case of the coffee sector, the new law would jeopardise the US$450m it generates in exports every year and put over 60,000 jobs at risk. Concerns about the impact of the proposed initiative have been raised by other sectors like the association of Nicaraguan private banks (Asobanp), Nicaragua’s chamber of tourism (Canatur), and the private sector lobby Consejo Superior de la Empresa Privada (Cosep).