LatinNews Daily - 01 September 2023

In brief: China and Nicaragua sign FTA

*Nicaragua’s government led by President Daniel Ortega has announced the inking of a free trade agreement (FTA) with China. The deal was signed via a video link in a ceremony attended by Laureano Ortega, the son of President Ortega and First Lady Rosario Murillo who is presidential advisor on trade and investment, Finance Minister Iván Acosta and the minister of trade, industry and commerce, Jesús Bermúdez. The Chinese delegation was led by China’s trade minister, Wang Wentao. According to China’s state news agency Xinhua about 60% of goods traded bilaterally will be exempted from tariffs upon the FTA taking effect, and the tariffs on over 95% will be gradually reduced to zero. Major products from each side, such as Nicaraguan beef, shrimp and coffee, and Chinese new energy vehicles and motorcycles, will be on the tariff-free list, it adds. According to the same Xinhua report Nicaragua-China bilateral trade totalled US$760m in 2022. It adds that China is Nicaragua's second-largest trading partner and second-largest source of imports. In May an early harvest deal with China, part of the FTA, entered effect after being approved in September last year by Nicaragua’s legislature. The FTA is due to enter effect in January 2024 and follows the establishment of bilateral relations between China and Nicaragua in December 2021 after the Ortega government severed ties with Taiwan.

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