Central American Integration Not a Reality

The difficulties and obstacles highlighted by exporters in intraregional trade reveal the serious shortcomings of the much vaunted concept of Central American Integration.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Chambers representing exporters in Central American countries believe that instead of moving towards the integration of the region, the slow progress of the customs union and the high costs of transport is retracting from it.

According to an article in Crhoy: "... the president of the Chamber of Exporters of Costa Rica, Monica Segnini said that they have no information on how much an entrepreneur could earn if there were more competition in transport and if border processes were expedited but according to the latest report published by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) "the figure would be very high."

"Estuardo Castillo, president of the Guatemalan Exporters Association, said that in terms of the customs union many countries can not meet the deadlines for achieving a single export document, with Central American harmonization and with free passage because there has been very little progress."

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Crisis and its Impact on the Region

October 2018

The complex economic and political situation that has affected Nicaragua since April continues to affect Central America, where exporters report losses of $45 million.

In the past months, cargo transport faced difficulties in moving goods along Nicaragua's highways due to demonstrators' blockades and insecurity, seriously affecting Central American companies.

Regional Chaos in Customs Fees

July 2013

In contrast to what should be a regional customs union, every Central American border post charges vastly different rates and taxes.

"We believe that we could even stage regional custom blockades," said the Nicaraguan Marvin Altamirano, president of the American Federation of Chambers of Transportation (Fecatrans).

Regional Business Sector Rejects Trade Block

June 2009

The regional business sector rejected SICA’s decision to block trade with Honduras because it would affect all the economies of the region.

The closing of Honduras’ borders to trade is rejected by the Central American Federation of Agricultural and Agro-Industrial Chambers because it restricts the freedoms of companies, industry, and commerce.

Customs Union - Central American in Figures

March 2008

Customs Union - Central American in Figures

Customs Union - Central American in Figures