Dis­cover Nicaragua food sec­tor

The China Post - - SPECIAL SUPPLEMENT -

His­tor­i­cally called the “bread­bas­ket of Cen­tral Amer­ica,” Nicaragua is known for its agro-pro­cess­ing in­dus­tries (slaugh­ter­houses, meat pack­ing plants, food pro­cess­ing plants, cook­ing oil plants and dairy fa­cil­i­ties) and the man­u­fac­tur­ing of an­i­mal by-prod­ucts (can­dles, soap and leather), which have been the back­bone of Nicaragua’s food in­dus­try. The last decade was a pe­riod of rapid growth of the in­dus­trial sec­tor, as new ex­ter­nal tar­iffs es­tab­lished by the sign­ing of free trade agree­ments (FTAs) have al­lowed the growth of im­port-sub­sti­tu­tion plants in Nicaragua.

“Nicaragua is a land of op­por­tu­ni­ties,” said Am­bas­sador of the Re­pub­lic of Nicaragua Wil­liam M. Tapia. Ac­cord­ing to PRONicaragua, the Of­fi­cial In­vest­ment and Ex­port Pro­mo­tion Agency of the Gov­ern­ment of Nicaragua, the agribusi­ness sec­tor con­trib­uted to ap­prox­i­mately 60 per­cent of the na­tion’s to­tal ex­port value, ex­clud­ing free zones, in 2013.

With nu­mer­ous in­vest­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties in the food in­dus­try, in­clud­ing the food pro­cess­ing sec­tor (pre­serves, fried food, etc.), snacks and cook­ies, ce­re­als and grain prod­ucts, as well as the sweets and candy mar­ket seg­ment, there is lit­tle won­der that renowned in­ter­na­tional com­pa­nies such as Kraft Foods, Par­malat, Cargill, Nestlé, Hor­tifruti (Wal-Mart), Pre­cious Woods and Nu­mar have al­ready es­tab­lished oper­a­tions in Nicaragua.

In ad­di­tion to gen­er­ous fis­cal in­cen­tives and a qual­i­fied la­bor pool, Tapia re­marked that Nicaragua al­lows great mar­ket ac­cess, thanks to the FTAs the coun­try has signed with the United States, Mexico, the Do­mini­can Re­pub­lic, Tai­wan, Panama, and most re­cently with the Euro­pean Union.

“Nicaragua is also part of the Cen­tral Amer­i­can Com­mon Mar­ket, which con­fers with the free move­ment of cap­i­tal, ser­vices and hu­man re­sources in the re­gion, and is con­struct­ing the Cen­tral Amer­i­can Cus­toms Union,” he went on.

At the mo­ment, the coun­try is ne­go­ti­at­ing FTAs with Chile, Canada and CARICOM while of­fer­ing pref­er­en­tial ac­cess to the Canada, Nor­way and Ja­pan through Gen­er­al­ized Sys­tem of Pref­er­ences (GSP). At the same time, Nicaragua is ne­go­ti­at­ing GSPs with the coun­tries of the ALBA and Mer­co­sur.

The FTA with Tai­wan was signed on June 16, 2006, con­sol­i­dat­ing Nicaragua’s ad­van­ta­geous po­si­tion as an ex­port plat­form to this im­por­tant mar­ket, and be­yond.

At

A Thriv­ing Agribusi­ness Sec­tor

the

an­nual

five-in-one Food

Expo,

it ap­pears that Nicaraguan en­trepreneurs all have one com­mon goal in mind: to use Tai­wan as a spring­board to other Asian mar­kets. For En­ti­zar Zalan, the pro­ject and oper­a­tions man­ager of Agrotec­nisa, her com­pany has been work­ing with Tai­wan for 5 years, and that it has opened many doors for Nicaragua’s com­merce.

Fur­ther­more, Zalan ex­plained that Tai­wan serves as a bridge be­tween Nicaragua and main­land China, stress­ing that in the short time of 5 years, her com­pany’s ex­ports grew from 1 to 100 con­tain­ers of cof­fee at a time. Zalan, who’s in Tai­wan for the sec­ond time, noted that Agrotec­nisa has both spe­cialty cof­fee and con­ven­tional cof­fee. She also pointed out that cof­fee shops are not as ubiq­ui­tous in Tai­wan, which she says is ad­van­ta­geous for Nicaraguan cof­fee ex­porters be­cause they have more op­por­tu­ni­ties to sell their cof­fee.

Also, Sil­via Se­queira, vice GM from Macesa, a lead­ing meat ex­port­ing com­pany, said that meat from Nicaragua is grass fed and nat­u­ral, mean­ing that the meat con­tains less grease and is gen­er­ally health­ier and more fla­vor­ful than most meat on the mar­ket. Se­queira added that Macesa wants to ex­pand its mar­ket share to main­land China. She voiced her con­cern, how­ever, that the quan­tity of Nicaraguan meat is not enough to sat­isfy the Chi­nese mar­ket. But over­all, she sees the Tai­wanese mar­ket as a gate­way to the Chi­nese mar­ket, which she thinks Macesa will soon reach as it has been in Tai­wan for 15 years.

Mean­while, Ale­jan­dro Arana, sales man­ager of Aguar­di­ente Ex­tra Fino Mom­ba­cho, also agrees that Tai­wan is a gate­way to the rest of Asia. Dif­fer­ent from the two com­pa­nies above, Aguar­di­ente hasn’t made a busi­ness in Tai­wan yet, and this is the first time the com­pany has come to Tai­wan. Ac­cord­ing to Ale­jan­dro Arana, the Tai­wan Em­bassy in Nicaragua rec­om­mended that they par­tic­i­pate in Food Taipei to ex­pand their mar­ket to Asia and to meet peo­ple from all over the world. The com­pany man­u­fac­tures spir­its and liquors. Its spir­its are 34 per­cent al­co­hol and its liquors are 28 per­cent al­co­hol.

Last but not least, Ariela Nazarena Roque Blandino, cof­fee sales man­ager of Finca San Ramón, noted that her com­pany also wants to im­prove sales in Tai­wan. “We have been selling to the U.S. and Ja­pan, and we’re very ex­cited to ad­vance to this mar­ket,” said Nazarena Roque Blandino. This com­pany with spe­cial­ties in green cof­fee, red cat­uai, yel­low cat­uai and pa­cas cof­fee, is here for the first time to set foot in Tai­wan. In the mid- to long-term, Finca San Ramón also sees Tai­wan as a gate­way to the rest of Asia, and is very ex­cited to ex­pand its mar­ket pres­ence in the re­gion.

With so many ex­cit­ing Nicaraguan food prod­ucts fea­tured at the Taipei In­ter­na­tional Food Show, it is def­i­nitely an event you won’t want to miss. Un­til June 28, the Nicaraguan dis­play area with the booth of the Cen­tral Amer­ica Trade Of­fice (中美洲經貿辦事處) fea­tures op­por­tu­ni­ties to sam­ple meat and agri­cul­tural prod­ucts, and of course cof­fee; so if you are a prospec­tive in­vestor or buyer, be sure to come along.

From left, Teóflio José Narváez Ro­dríguez, gen­eral man­ager of Buena Vista Cof­fee, María Cristina Narváez from Buena Vista Cof­fee, Len­nín Zele­don Ch. (back row), sales di­rec­tor over­seas de­vel­op­ment of Ser­vi­consa, Juana Roque, in­ter­preter for Finca San Ramón, Niels Inge­mann Møller (back row), pres­i­dent of Inge­mann, Norma Re, pro­ject man­ager of Pet­nicsa, Am­bas­sador of the Re­pub­lic of Nicaragua to the R.O.C. (Tai­wan) Wil­liam M. Tapia, Fred­erik Zeuthen (back row), CEO of Café Nor, Xochilt Scar­leth Ar­tola Cerna (sit­ting in the front row) from Buena Vista Cof­fee, Pablo Jose Ortez Bel­tran from Buena Vista Cof­fee, Ale­jan­dro Arana R. (back row), sales man­ager of Aguar­di­ente Ex­tra Fino Mom­ba­cho, Gilberto E. Wong, mar­ket­ing con­sul­tant of Su­pli­dora In­ter­na­cional S.A., Sil­via Se­queira (back row), vice gen­eral man­ager of Macesa, Ariela Nazarena Roque Blandino (front row), cof­fee sales man­ager of Finca San Ra­mon, En­ti­zar Zalan, pro­ject and oper­a­tions man­ager of Agrotech­nisa, Zamira Zalan from Agrotech­nisa, Julio Rivera, gen­eral man­ager of In­ver­siones Rivera S.A., pose to­gether dur­ing the first day of the Food Expo.

From left, Ce­celia González, fairs and mis­sion ad­vi­sor of Proesa, Os­car Navas, gen­eral man­ager of Ex­pronav, Matilde de Polomo, pres­i­dent of Shuchil, Am­bas­sador of El Salvador to the R.O.C. (Tai­wan) Marta Chang de Tsien, Rhina de Rehmann of Ha­cienda Los Nacimien­tos, Pe­dro Men­jí­var, pres­i­dent of Pamem, Ro­driguez Ja­cobo Fredy, chef at S&P Cof­fee, and Ro­drigo Blanco, tourism, trade and econ­omy con­sul­tant of El Salvador, visit the El Salvador booth on the first day of the five-in-one Food Expo.

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