In the framework of the ratification of El Salvador as a new member of the Customs Union of the Northern Triangle, Guatemala and Honduras invited three other countries to join their initiative
The Customs Union is an initiative that some Central American countries have been developing for a couple of years, being one of its first manifestations in the XLIV meeting of the Central American Integration System. The need for an economic figure that brings together Central American territories, which enjoy the free movement of goods and natural persons, finally took shape in 2017, when Guatemala and Honduras decided to start this ambitious project.
On August 20, 2018, in a joint declaration of the presidents of El Salvador, Salvador Sánchez Cerén, of Guatemala, Jimmy Morales Cabrera, and of Honduras, Juan Orlando Hernández Alvarado, the inclusion of El Salvador to the Customs Union was ratified as part of the countries of the Northern Triangle. This inclusion is logical when reviewing the possibilities offered by this Customs Union, where, for example, 40% of the merchandise circulating in the member countries, that is, Guatemala and Honduras, are part of this figure.
Additionally, the inclusion of El Salvador leads to the Customs Union representing 48% of the regional GDP and 69% of the intraregional regions of Central America, which would position El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras as the eighth largest economy in Latin America, according to informs the statement of Corinto.
A necessary invitation
The facilities provided by the Customs Union have been demonstrated. From the more technical aspects, such as the border crossings of goods have reduced their time to 15 minutes between Guatemala and Honduras, until reaching a "deep integration" which leads to an "effective sub-regional integration", the countries of the Triangle North, and in general of Central America, they bet everything on these agreements.
You can also read: Union makes strength: the secret the northern triangle’s economy
In this way, Juan Orlando Hernández, president of Honduras, invited Costa Rica, Nicaragua and Panama to be part of the Union and thus advance the integration of the region. According to the president, his aspiration is to become the seventh economy in the region, which is why he expects increasing support in the region.
The inclusion of a legal and economic framework that supports the development of the Central American economy is, without a doubt, a project with broad advantages, but also with many difficulties. According to CentralAmericaData, one of the biggest challenges is the renewal of equipment and adequate technology that will effectively speed up the transit of goods between the countries participating in the agreement.
In the same way, as can be seen in the declaration of Corinto, the instruction of a large part of the state apparatus of all countries is still necessary, in such a way that they can adapt their operation to a new paradigm of business and transnational movements.
This instruction goes from immediate changes that the ministries must have, to future plans that allow expanding the economic panorama of the nations involved. However, despite these difficulties, the advantages of the Customs Union allow us to see that more and more countries will want to make part of its benefits.
LatinAmerican Post | Jorge Ovalle
Translated from "¡Por la alianza! Estos son los países invitados a formar parte del Triángulo Norte"