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Turkey shows increased interest in the region

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Nicaragua’s National Assembly this month ratified an agreement with Turkey, which is intended to facilitate bilateral commerce, while encouraging Turkish investment in power-generation and manufacturing, among other sectors.

The agreement, which has a five-year renewable term, calls for the establishment of a joint commission to assess opportunities for trade and investment.

Nicaragua last March approved an aviation-services agreement with Turkey.

Meanwhile, a Turkish delegation will host a forum this week in both Costa Rica and Panama, in order to promote exports, including grains, textiles and steel.

Recent developments follow the opening by Guatemala last April of an embassy in Ankara, at the same time that Turkey organized the second annual meeting with foreign ministers of the Central American Integration System, which includes the seven countries of the Isthmus and the Dominican Republic.

Turkey will make a $500,000 contribution to the group as part of a plan to boost trade with the eight members of the System.

The value of bilateral trade last year was $326 million, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said.

Panama and Costa Rica are the other Central American countries with embassies in Turkey, whose national carrier Turkish Airlines in 2016 started a flight connecting Istanbul with Bogota and Panama City.