China and Nicaragua completes substantive negotiations on FTA: MOFCOM

2023-07-26 08:59:00Global Times Editor : Li Yan ECNS App Download

China and Nicaragua completed the substantive negotiations on a free trade agreement (FTA) after the ministers from the two sides met through video conference on Tuesday, China's Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) announced on Tuesday.

Minster of Commerce Wang Wentao and Minister of Development, Industry, and Trade of Nicaragua Jesus Bermudez revealed the completion through the video conference, according to an official post on MOFCOM’s official Wechat account.   

The two sides agreed to step up technological preparation, carry out domestic ratification procedures, and strive to sign and implement the agreement as soon as possible, the post read.  

Senior officials from both sides including China's Vice Minister of Commerce Wang Shouwen and Laureano Ortega, advisor on investment, trade and international cooperation to Nicaraguan president and other officials participated in the event.  

The signing of the FTA is a significant measure to implement the consensus reached by the leaders of the two countries, which will provide institutional guarantee for bilateral economic and trade exchanges and further elevate the corresponding cooperation.  

The fourth round of negotiations was held between  July 3 to 5 in Managua, the capital of Nicaragua as Wang Shouwen and Bermudez led delegation teams and discussed topics in various sectors covering from commodity trade to temporary visas for business personnel.  

The bilateral Early Harvest Arrangement between China and Nicaragua went into effect on May 1, a MOFCOM Spokesperson said earlier in July, adding that the FTA will facilitate and deepen bilateral business and trade cooperation, generating a basis and driving force for further development of relations. 

After the Early Harvest Arrangement took effect, certain imports from Nicaragua, such as beef, seafood, cables and textile products, were granted zero-tariff status.

In 2022, the bilateral trade reached $760 million, according to official customs data.  

In December 2021, China and Nicaragua resumed diplomatic relations after Nicaragua announced the severance of "diplomatic ties" with Taiwan island, which became the 181st country to establish normal diplomatic relations with China, according to the Xinhua News Agency. 

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