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Lots to do in the region: Spain's Rajoy

Monday, March 23, 2015

Spanish companies have much to offer the nations of the “Northern Triangle” — Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras — said Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy last week during a visit to the region.

The three countries together with Nicaragua get less than half the Spanish investment, which goes to Costa Rica and Panama.

The timing would be especially good for Spanish investors, if an American proposal goes forward, which each year provides $1 billion support to the Triangle.

The United States Congress would have to approve the plan, announced earlier this year by President Barack Obama.

In Panama, Spanish companies help lead a project to expand the Canal.

New locks will allow the passage of ships which carry up to 12,000 containers.

This is more than double the capacity of the current canal, inaugurated in 1914.

In addition, a Spanish company is a key member of the consortium, which built Panama City’s Metro.

Spain is second only to the United States as an investor in Costa Rica, where Spanish companies are heavily involved in sectors such as such as energy and tourism.

Movistar (only in Spanish), a subsidiary of Madrid-based Telefonica, is one of Costa Rica’s three biggest telcos.

Underscoring the importance of this visit to the region, Rajoy has no plans for another visit this year to Latin America.