UK and Central America sign continuity agreement

Managua, Nicaragua

The UK and Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama have signed the UK-Central America Association Agreement.

Ambassador Ross Denny signed the agreement in Managua, Nicaragua together with Trade and Economic Ministers from each of the six Central American countries.

The Agreement will ensure British businesses and consumers benefit from continued trade with Central America after we leave the European Union. It provides tariff-free trade of industrial products together with liberalisation of trade in agricultural food production and fisheries products.

Consumers in the UK will continue to benefit from lower prices on goods imported from Central American countries party to this agreement, such as prawns from Honduras and Costa Rican fruit. Consumers in Central America will continue to benefit from lower tariffs on products such as drinks and cars produced in the UK.

Trading on these preferential terms rather than on World Trade Organization terms will deliver significant savings and help to support British jobs. It will also help further strengthen the trading relationship between the UK and Central America, which was worth £1bn in British exports and imports in 2018.

The Agreement provides a framework for cooperation and development through political dialogue, increased economic ties and our work on important issues like the environment and human rights, reaffirming Britain’s commitment to a close relationship with Central America.

Welcoming the new Agreement, Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said: “This agreement is of real importance as we prepare to leave the European Union and strengthen our ties with the rest of the world. It will help provide the certainty business need to be thrive and help turbocharge our economy into the future.

“It has also been achieved thanks to the hard work of UK diplomats and I thank them for their work. We look forward to building on our political and economic ties, with exporters and consumers having the certainty they need to continue trading freely and in confidence abroad.”