China, Nicaragua aim to complete FTA negotiations by end-July: MOFCOM
Published: Jul 13, 2023 11:13 PM Updated: Jul 13, 2023 11:09 PM
A view of an island in Nicaragua

A view of an island in Nicaragua Photo: VCG

China and Nicaragua aim to finish talks on a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) by the end of July, said China’s Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM). 

MOFCOM Spokesperson Shu Jueting told a regular press conference on Thursday that China and Nicaragua have strong economic complementarity with huge trade and investment potential.

On May 1, the bilateral Early Harvest Arrangement between China and Nicaragua, which was signed in July 2022, went into effect, said Shu. “The China-Nicaragua FTA will facilitate and deepen bilateral business and trade cooperation, generating a basis and driving force for further development of relations,” she said. 

The fourth round of negotiations was held from July 3 to 5 in Managua, the capital of Nicaragua. 

Vice Minister of Commerce Wang Shouwen and Minister of Development, Industry, and Trade of Nicaragua Jesus Bermudez led delegation teams and discussed topics including commodity trade, cross-border trade in services, financial services and temporary visas for business personnel. 

Official data showed that in 2022, bilateral trade reached $760 million, with China primarily exporting textiles, computers and communication equipment, and importing agricultural products, sugar, leather and timber.

After the Early Harvest Arrangement took effect, certain imports from Nicaragua, such as beef, seafood, cables and textile products, were granted zero-tariff status.

In December 2021, China and Nicaragua resumed diplomatic relations after the Central American country announced the severance of "diplomatic ties" with Taiwan island. Nicaragua became the 181st country to establish normal diplomatic relations with China, according to a report by the Xinhua News Agency at that time.

Global Times