Pros and Cons of the Trade Agreement with Europe

The high demands for quality standards, traceability and safety constitute a barrier to making the most out of the Agreement.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

In the view of representatives from the Nicaraguan export sector, it has not been possible to make the most out of the association agreement with the European Union in its first two years, due to, among other things, unfavorable international prices, as has been the case of products such as sugar, coffee , cocoa, oil and alcohol.

Sonia Somarriba, head of markets and international relations at APEN "... stated that 'exports to the EU by Nicaragua in 2014 represented eight percent of global export value and actually showed a reduction from 288.4 million dollars in 2012 to 252.6 million dollars in 2013 and 216.1 million dollars in 2014, according to the BCN.'"

However, reports that "... Francisco Peiro Adams, head of the section of economy and trade for Central America of the Delegation of the European Union in Costa Rica believes that the results of the first two years have indeed been beneficial, although the agreement is still in its 'Early implementation process. '"

For exporters the main obstacle is the difficulty they have in meeting the standards for quality, traceability and safety demanded by European countries. Somarriba said that "... That is why, despite having a quota for meat, we must work quickly at both the government and the business sector in order to use it."

More on this topic

Exporting to Europe Requires More Quality

November 2014

Central America must improve the quality standards of its products, learn more about the consumers and simplify processes in order to take advantage of the opportunities of the Agreement with the European Union.

In order to maximize the opportunities provided by the Association Agreement which has been signed with the European Union (EU), Central American companies must have a better understanding of the European market, which has more than 500 million consumers who are demanding in terms of quality and food safety. Furthermore, it is essential to simplify export procedures in order to expedite the process of obtaining permits and other procedures which are reducing export competitiveness in Central America.

EU Requirements on Food Safety

November 2013

In order to export food to the EU companies must establish efficient processes for traceability, product withdrawal and recovery.

This was explained Valentin Diaz, a specialist from the European Union in Nicaragua who gave a workshop entitled "Trainer of trainers in traceability, withdrawal and recall of products, aimed at the food industry."

Opportunities for Honey in the EU

July 2013

The entry into force of the Association Agreement between Central America and the European Union encourages projects to increase honey production in Nicaragua.

Currently production is less than 500 tonnes per year, equivalent to 0.09% of what was imported globally last year (518,818 tonnes).

Opportunities and Challenges for El Salvador in Europe

July 2013

With the entry into force of the AA in August, 90% of Salvadoran products will be able to be sent to European Union countries duty free.

"What will happen is that Central America, instead of exporting to the international market, will export to Europe. It will change the export destination," said Julio Arroyo, CEO of the Asociación Azucarera.

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