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Honduras president urges Central American neighbours to join customs union
Published on July 5, 2017 Email To Friend    Print Version

The 49th SICA Summit addressed trade, cooperation, and regional security

SAN JOSÉ, Costa Rica -- Last week, while attending the Central American Integration System (SICA) Summit in Costa Rica, Honduras President Juan Orlando Hernández proposed expanding the Honduran-Guatemalan customs union to include other Central American nations.

"Guatemala and Honduras would like to invite our neighbours to share in the growing market that our countries are creating," Hernández said. "The customs union is a boon for the economy, benefiting consumers, producers, and businesspeople alike."

The 49th SICA Summit addressed trade, cooperation, and regional security. Hernández met with Salvadoran President Salvador Sánchez Cerén at the summit, and then traveled to Nicaragua to meet with President Daniel Ortega. Honduran officials hope that both El Salvador and Nicaragua will soon begin proceedings to join the union.

Heads of government of SICA's member countries, including Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, Belize, and the Dominican Republic, appointed former Guatemalan president Vinicio Cerezo as secretary of SICA. They also supported the appointment of Honduran vice minister for foreign trade Melvin Redondo as the secretary general of the Central America Economic Integration System (SIECA), which oversees the economic integration of SICA's member countries.

Redondo will help oversee all expansions of the Honduran-Guatemalan customs union. Hernández hopes to work with the vice minister to establish a plan for expanding the union within 45 days.

"If we unite Central America, our region will prosper together," said Hernández. "This summit marks a new era for SICA, and an unprecedented economic opportunity for its member countries."
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