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Mexico And Central America Work Towards Free Trade

by Mike Godfrey, Tax-News.com, Washington

12 August 2010


Mexico and Central American countries have started a second round of negotiations to seek to integrate the various free trade agreements signed between them and Mexico. Agreements with Mexico have already been signed by Nicaragua, Costa Rica and the "Northern Triangle" (Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador).

Representatives of the six countries are meeting in El Salvador to discuss measures for small and medium enterprises. The trade agreement aims to support small businesses by reducing transaction costs and encouraging investment flows between the six participating countries.

"Central America represents a market of 38 million people; its total imports amounted to USD50bn, in which Mexico participates with only an 8% share, so there is scope for increasing exports of Mexican products and services," said the head of Mexican Economy Secretariat, Eduardo Ramos.

Among the issues to be addressed are those relating to certificates of origin, market access, services, investment, technical standards and phyto-sanitary measures.

The search for such an agreement was first begun in June 2008, but the coup of June 2009 in Honduras delayed negotiations. The first round of actual negotiations was held in May 2010 in Mexico City.

TAGS: small business | business | free trade agreement (FTA) | Nicaragua | Mexico | agreements | Costa Rica | Guatemala | import duty | standards | trade | El Salvador | Honduras

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