"Geography is destiny"

Annual growth in trade between Central American countries from 1960 to the close of 2008 averaged 11.7%, increasing from $30 million to $6.3 billion.

Thursday, July 8, 2010


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"Geography is destiny,” Napoleon would often say, and Central America is a clearly a case in point. As far as trade is concerned, the region’s countries are one, and in terms of business it is essential to take this into account.

In an article on his blog, Desde Guate (From Guatemala), Oscar E. Mendizábal summarizes 50 years of Central American integration, “a process that, in its origins, was almost parallel to the evolution of the European Union since 1957”.

In recent years, the free trade agreements signed with the USA and Europe have forced taking steps towards integration: unified customs, a common customs tariff (AEC) and the elimination of trade barriers.

More on this topic

Integration Held Back by Large Obstacles

November 2009

In spite of globalization driving various forms of private economic integration, there still remain custom and tariff barriers.

International commerce experts agree that in order to fully take advantage of the benefits of free trade agreements with extra-regional blocks, Central America must complete the economic integration process started on October 14, 1951.

Guatemala and Harnessing the Europe Agreement

January 2014

The elimination of tariffs on agricultural products and flexible rules of origin for products such as tuna, textiles and plastics are part of the changes incorporated in the Agreement.

The Minister of Economy, Sergio de la Torre said that in the next few years Guatemala's exports to Europe could be doubled, as has happened with the other trade agreements that the Central American nation has signed.

FTA drives growth in Guatemala

September 2008

The free trade agreements with the United States have contributed to the economic growth of partner countries, said the American ambassador to Guatemala, Stephen McFarland.

McFarland explained that the export of Guatemalan products to the American market have increased 13%, from $963 million in 2006 to $1.1 billion in 2007.

Central American ministers review progress on free trade

June 2008

Deputy economy ministers of Central America and the Dominican Republic met in San Salvador to evaluate the region's trade agreements with other countries.

Central America and the Dominican Republic signed the Cafta accord with the United States in 2004, and the Central American countries are currently negotiating an association with the European Union.

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