The Presidents and Executive Directors of COEXPORT of El Salvador, AGEXPORT of Guatemala, FPX of Honduras, APEN of Nicaragua, CADEXCO of Costa Rica, APEX of Panama, and ADOEXPO Dominican Republic, who are members of the Federation of Chambers and Associations of Exporters of Central America, the Caribbean, and Panama (FECAEXCA). They participate in the annual assembly of this federation where, in addition to analyzing the performance and challenges of the region’s exports. They also attend the 4th award to the exporter of the year of Panama, ceremony in which Panamanian President Mr. Laurentino Cortizo Cohen and his Cabinet of Ministers, were present.

During this assembly, they addressed issues relevant to the region, focusing on strengthening and encouraging Central American export integration, competitiveness, and trade with the world market.

FECAEXCA representatives in the 2019 annual assembly

As part of this meeting, the performance recorded by Central American exports in the first half of 2019 was also known: Guatemala with US$ 6,568 million, El Salvador with US$ 4,077 million; Honduras with US$ 4,537 million; Costa Rica US$ 7,692 million; Panama US$ 522 million, Nicaragua US$ 3,486 million; including free zones. The Presidents said that the Central American countries must work to strengthen global factors that allow for the inclusive growth of the region due to changing external conditions.

Competitiveness

FECAEXCA after analyzing the competitiveness indexes of Central America urges the governments of the region to issue public policies that raise the competitiveness indices of the region in topics such as infrastructure, innovation, facilitation of procedures, human talent, exchange rates, to that Central American exports to the world can continue to grow.

Central American Integration

To strengthen and facilitate regional integration, the Single Customs Declaration has been achieved. This unique product exchange document in the region allows modernizing, simplifying and streamlining Central American business processes. The Federation has played an important role in this process through constant participation in public and private groups, providing detailed information and assigning qualified personnel to support companies in their adaptation processes. FECAEXCA as part of CCIE will continue to support the integration process.

Boosting the development of MSMEs

FECAEXCA proceeded to evaluate the results of the components of the “Central America Export” project financed by the European Union, through which it has supported the development of more than 400 MSMEs in the region trained to improve their competitiveness and internationalization capabilities so that they can export to Central America and the European Union, food, manufacturing, and services.

Joint promotion at fairs and exhibitions

The Presidents agreed on a joint promotion strategy to promote the region’s exportable offer in international markets. Products such as bananas, Chinese peas, coffee, coconuts, seeds, cocoa, frozen fruits and vegetables, rambutan, papaya, mini vegetables, Persian lemon, mango, zucchini, chili pepper, macadamia, avocado, ginger, moringa seed, dehydrated fruits, Beans, processed foods, decoration products, services and supplies have been jointly promoted at international events.

New markets

Another of the issues addressed was the expansion into new markets, particularly Asia and the Middle East, tracing actions to address in particular the Chinese market because of the opportunities it offers for Central American markets. Panama commented on the success achieved with the export of fruits to China, to the point that one of the companies awarded during the exporters event of the year is a pineapple producer in that country.

Value added

FECAEXCA discussed the importance of adding value and sophistication to the exportable offer so as not to depend on international prices, as well as making joint efforts to incorporate this offer into global value chains.

Situation in Nicaragua

FECAEXCA reaffirmed its solidarity with the Association of Producers and Exporters of Nicaragua -APEN – in its approaches with respect to the human rights of all Nicaraguans, the support for press freedom and especially, they were in solidarity with the business leaders who they have been affected by political causes defending democracy and sustaining the weakened economy of the country, which is the product of the political crisis that this Central American brother is experiencing.

“Panamanian Exporter of the Year” Award

FECAEXCA congratulates Panamanian exporters and in particular those who were awarded during the fourth edition of these awards, obtained by those companies that stood out for their success in international markets, sustainability, social responsibility and other merits.

Finally, the Directors of FECAEXCA received the visit of the Vice Minister of Foreign Trade, Juan Carlos Sosa; as well as the Executive Director of ProPanamá, Carmen Gisela Vergara; and Alejandro Jaramillo of Bladex.

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