China, Nicaragua upgrade bilateral ties to strategic partnership

2023-12-20 17:06:45Global Times Editor : Li Yan ECNS App Download

China and Nicaragua announced on Wednesday they agreed to upgrade bilateral relations to the strategic partnership, vowing to expand bilateral trade and bring their Free Trade Agreement (FTA) into force as soon as possible.

On the occasion of the second anniversary of the restoration of diplomatic relations between China and Nicaragua, the two countries agreed to elevate the bilateral relationship to a strategic partnership, which aligns with the common interests of both countries and help promote mutual development and prosperity, read a joint announcement released by China’s Foreign Ministry.

According to the announcement, the two sides highly value the signing of the China-Nicaragua FTA and will push for its entry into force soon. The two countries will make full use of mechanisms such as the China-Nicaragua Mixed Commission on Economic and Trade and platforms such as the China-Nicaragua FTA to ramp up bilateral trade.

China welcomes more products of Nicaragua to enter the Chinese market, and the Nicaraguan side is willing to actively utilize the China International Import Expo and other platforms to expand its exports to China, the announcement said.

In addition, China supports its enterprises to invest in Nicaragua and participate in local infrastructure construction, and stands ready to evaluate the investment and financing projects proposed by the Nicaraguan side.

Nicaragua is willing to continuously optimize its business environment and provide policy support and convenience for Chinese enterprises operating in the country.

The two countries signed an FTA in August this year after year-long negotiations. Following the signing of the FTA, the 21st of its kind for China, Nicaragua has become China's 28th global free trade partner and fifth in Latin America.

About 60 percent of goods in the bilateral trade will be tariff-free upon the FTA taking effect, and the tariffs on 95 percent of other products will be gradually reduced to zero. Major products from each side, such as Nicaraguan beef, shrimp and coffee, and Chinese new energy vehicles and motorcycles, will be tariff-free.

In 2022, bilateral trade between China and Nicaragua stood at $760 million. China is Nicaragua's second-largest trading partner and second-largest source of imports. Nicaragua is China's important economic and trade partner in Central America and an important participant in the Belt and Road Initiative.


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