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Exports from Central America to China grew 43 per cent

Thursday, June 26, 2014


Intra-regional commerce is up, while trade is down between Central America and the rest of the world, according to the Secretariat for Central American Economic Integration.

Trade within the region reached $8.5 billion last year, an increase of 1.2 per cent, compared to 2012.

Meanwhile, international commerce fell 1.7 per cent to $29.9 billion, the result of stagnant demand by the region’s main trade partners.

The leading destinations for Central American exports are the United States, which accounts for nearly a third of total sales, followed by Europe, with 14 percent.

A share of close to 2.5 per cent goes to each of Mexico, Canada and China, which showed the fastest growth of imports from the region – an increase of 43 per cent compared to 2012.

Plastic and related manufactures are the top products traded among the region's countries, reaching a total of $700 million, or just over 8 per cent.

Other important products in interregional trade are paper, food, and pharmaceutical products.

In terms of goods exported outside the region, fresh fruits are the top category, accounting for almost 15 percent of sales, valued at $3.2 billion.

Costa Rica and Panama jointly account for just under three quarters of the region's exports of services.

Fuels are the region's top import, accounting for 68 per cent of the total.