Canadian Minister Lobbies For Free-Trade Agreement

January 23, 2009

Peter Kent, Canada s secretary of state for exterior affairs for the Americas, visited Nicaragua last week as part of a push to renew talks for a free-trade agreement between Canada and Central America.

Kent met with Nicaragua s Foreign Minister Samuel Santos and other high level officials as part of a push to deepen bilateral ties with Nicaragua.

This trip will reinforce our commitment to playing a larger role in the Americas Central America is a key region where the issues of security, prosperity and democratic governance are crucial, Kent said in a statement about his Jan. 12-16 visit.

Canada, which has had trade interests in Central America since the late 1800s, traded $111 million with Nicaragua in 2007, though trade statistics don t include millions in trade of products such as bananas, coffee and melons that are shipped through the United States or Europe.

There are about $170 million in Canadian investments in Nicaragua, namely in mining, oil and gas exploration, apparel manufacturing, finance and energy generation, according to the Canadian Embassy in Nicaragua. Canada s 37-year-old aid program in Nicaragua has injected some $300 million in areas of education, energy, farming and electoral observation. Some 34,000 Canadians visited Nicaragua in 2007.

Canada and the CA-4 countries (Nicaragua, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador), started free-trade talks in 2000, thought they haven t made much progress since the latest round of negotiations in 2004.

Kent s tour also took him to El Salvador and Guatemala. Canada hopes to sign the free-trade agreement with Central America in 2009.

Blake Schmidt

 

You may be interested

Costa Rica dismantles international drug trafficking ring
Drug trafficking
24 views
Drug trafficking
24 views

Costa Rica dismantles international drug trafficking ring

AFP - May 24, 2018

Costa Rican authorities dismantled an international cocaine trafficking ring that used fishing boats on the country's southern Pacific coast. The…

Costa Rica’s snakebite research pioneers save lives worldwide
Changemakers
153 views
Changemakers
153 views

Costa Rica’s snakebite research pioneers save lives worldwide

Mitzi Stark - May 23, 2018

The Clodomiro Picado Institute is spread along the main road of Dulce Nombre de Coronado, northeast of San José. Its…

Adaptive surfing, part II: The story of Dean Bushby
sports
239 views
sports
239 views

Adaptive surfing, part II: The story of Dean Bushby

Ellen Zoe Golden - May 22, 2018

A three-part look at adaptive surfing in Costa Rica. Read Part I here to learn how a Central Pacific coach is…