From Russia with money
Panamanian officials last week met with their Moscow counterparts, as well as representatives from Russian airlines Aeroflot and Transaero, in order to promote Panama as a gateway to Latin America.
Nicaragua last month sent a delegation to Moscow, with the aim of attracting investment in the pharmaceutical, transportation and financial services sectors.
Meanwhile Guatemala and Russia late last year signed an agreement to stimulate capital investment.
Russia in recent years has become Guatemala’s third largest source of foreign direct investment, mainly in the resource sector.
Also in late 2013, Honduras and Russia agreed on visa-free travel between the two countries, a move which is intended to encourage Russian tourism and business visitors.
Insofar as indirect investment is concerned, Mexico is poised to receive a share of developing-country funds, which in recent weeks have pulled out of Russia and Ukraine, as a result of concerns over a potential conflict between the two countries.
Costa Rica is currently the region’s largest exporter to Russia, mainly of bananas and pineapple, with a 2012 value of close to $40 million.
Central America also sells coffee, meat and tobacco products to the Russian market.
Fertilizers, cars, steel and aluminum are the leading Russian exports to the region.