A vast array of free trade agreements, growth in a variety of sectors and increasing global perspective have made several Central America countries attractive to do business in, particularly in international trade. Investors have traditionally seen Central America as a ´high risk´region. While this may still be the case in some areas, the collective region is currently experiencing positive economic growth. The basis of this can be attributed to a variety of factors and is regional dependent, however, international trade has provided a great base for this spur in economic growth. This trend is not only set to remain stable but is expected to significantly increase due to a strategic geographical position, strong sector growth and lower human capital costs.
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Attractive Central Trading Sectors and Opportunities
There are a growing number of attractive sectors for both Latin and foreign investors, with the range of free trade agreements providing a solid foundation for international business transactions.
24/7 Approvals for Import Permits in Costa Rica
In early December, a new import system was created in San José which will greatly benefit companies in the food, medical, chemical and pharmaceutical sectors. The VUCE 2.0 system reduces the processing time of services, decreases costs and simplifies import and export procedures which will facilitate competitiveness in the country. The system will create greater synergy between the public and the private sector.
Guatemalan and Chilean Collaboration
Exporters from the most northern Central American country, Guatemala, will be undertaking serious commercial negotiations with Chile in the coming months. Guatemala, who have traditionally had a strong agricultural sector, see Chile as an attractive market to conduct business in. Chile is a strong trading nation and one of the most open countries in the world for foreign participation. High living costs mean that foreign products from countries that have lower human labour costs, such as Guatemala, obtain a competitive advantage in the market. Access to a professional Chilean lawyer for Guatemala business would provide a strategic advantage for investors looking to take advantage of future collaborations between the countries.
Central America Frozen Fruit Export Market
The worlds large appetite for frozen fruit can be thanked in a large part due to Central America. Recent studies (undertaken between January 2017 – June 2017), show that the Central American region exported approximately USD$57 million worth of frozen fruits, an increase of 60% from that of the same period in 2016. This growth demonstrates both the strength of the frozen fruit market, but also the array of business opportunities available for savvy individuals and companies. High-quality products, cost-effective pricing and an array of free trade agreements make for a range of exciting business opportunities.
Make the Most of Central America Trade Opportunities
The Central American region has turned itself into an attractive zone to do business in. While there is a range of opportunities available in various sectors and countries, one thing the region shares in common are their strong international trading environments. The regions extensive free trade agreements provide a great platform to begin operations in.
Partnering with local ‘on-ground’ experts will prove a worthwhile strategy, whether it’s through commercial representation, access to local trade specialists, or using essential back-office services (legal, accounting, taxation etc). The combination of a well-thought-out business plan and local partnership will ensure that you are able to make the most of all that the region offers investors. Your success in the region is reachable.
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The information provided here within should not be construed as formal guidance or advice. Please consult a professional for your specific situation. Information provided is for informative purposes only and may not capture all pertinent laws, standards, and best practices. The regulatory landscape is continually evolving; information mentioned may be outdated and/or could undergo changes. The interpretations presented are not official. Some sections are based on the interpretations or views of relevant authorities, but we cannot ensure that these perspectives will be supported in all professional settings.