Falling short of the the amount achieved in 2015, $42 million worth of deals were negotiated in purchase intentions of products such as honey, fresh fruits, processed foods, seafood, vegetables and meat.
Although the goal of the union of Nicaraguan exporters was more than $48 million traded in the 2015 edition of the trade fair, they did manage to achieve $42 million in two days of activity, which was attended by 64 international buyers from the United States, Canada, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Costa Rica, Panama, Ecuador, Brazil, Spain and Puerto Rico.
The union of exporters claims that business opportunities are being lost due to the slow pace of processing and issue of permits and certificates for export.
Juan Bulnes, president of the Panamanian Association of Exporters (APEX), told Prensa.com that"...'For exporters, the National Customs Authority (ANA) and the Ministry of Health (MoH) are a thorn in their side'."
Added to the factors already deteriorating competitiveness in the export sector are increased thefts of merchandise on the country's roads and infiltration of drug trafficking in exports.
The National Chamber of Cargo Carriers (Canatrac) reports that attacks on trucks on roads in the country have increased since 2012.They state "... on average 12 assaults used to be committed per year, however the figure has risen to 20 in recent years'."
In order to improve the export promotion strategy to China two annual meetings are being organized in Guatemala between companies from both countries, and the first will be held in March 2017.
The union of exporters, Agexport, and Korean Guatemalan Chamber of Commerce (CAMCOR), integrated into the Board of Export and Trade in Asia, are calling for Guatemalan companies to participate in the "Korea Trade 2017", a "... trade promotion strategy composed of two binational business meetings. "
From 2006 to 2015 sales to Taiwan have grown at an annual rate of 14%, with sugar and coffee at the head followed by paper, cardboard, tobacco, shrimp, lobster, fruit, copper, and other products.
Although in the ten years of the FTA between Guatemala and Taiwanexports to China have not stopped growing, they have always been highly concentrated in commodities such as coffee and sugar, meaning that there is an opportunity to diversify taking into account the consumer tastes and characteristics of the Taiwanese market.
Companies operating under the Law for the Promotion of Export Activities and Maquilas will be able to deduct the VAT paid on electricity.
By presenting a certifying document to the Superintendency of Tax Administration (SAT) exporters will be exempted from paying VAT on their electricity bill, since it is a"... tax benefit according to decrees 29-89 and 19-2016 " explained the lawyer Rodrigo Barillas in an activity organized by Agexport.
In order to speed up timeframes and procedures, employers have asked that the requirement be eliminated or that the the timeframe, currently one month, be extended to at least one year.
In Central America, only authorities in Nicaragua are demanding compliance with fiscal solvency, which directly affects the competitiveness of local exporters against the rest of the region. In order to speed up the times and procedures, employers are asking for the requirement to be eliminated or that the timeframe, currently one month, be extended to at least one year.
In Costa Rica, exporters must report the weight of each container 24 hours before the shipment of goods, by means of a declaration.
The Ministry of Public Works and Transport (MOPT) has announced that the draft regulations which will govern the verification system for the weight of containers leaving the country by sea, are now ready. Still pending is the signing of the executive decree which will validate it so that it will come into effect.
Businesses in the tourism and export sectors are insisting on the need to revise the exchange rate policy in order to recover part of the competitiveness lost in recent years.
While on one side of the fence exporters and tourism companies are asking to change the way in which the exchange rate is managed in order to improve their competitiveness, on the side are the companies and sectors that have benefited not only from the stability shown by the price of the dollar in the country but also from cheap imports.
It has been announced that as of November 17th enterprises must carry out a mandatory exporter VAT self-assessment using a web platform.
The union of exporters is not entirely satisfied with this online system, stating that it has some limitations, such as only allowing "... cross matching withholding of exporter VAT with importer VAT to recover the money.
In the trade fair deals were struck worth at least $48 million between exporters and buyers interested in tubers, meat, grains and seeds.
Although it is a preliminary figure, representatives from the Association of Producers and Exporters of Nicaragua (APEN) anticipate that the results of this fair will exceed those achieved in the 2014 edition, when businesses deals were made worth $42 million. Added to this preliminary data will be the final results from the virtual negotiations.
As part of the Agritrade Platform, Guatemala will participate for the 27th time in PMA Fresh Summit, the most important international trade show and convention of fruits and vegetables in the United States, which will take place at Anaheim Convention Center, California from October 17th to 19th.