The Presidents of Panama, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Guatemala, and El Salvador, along with the Vice-President of Honduras, have signed the text for a future Free Trade Agreement to cover all six countries. With the signing of the text, which took place on March 6 in Panama City with the President of Brazil as witness, the Central American countries intend to form a trade bloc of 30 million consumers.
The program, a re-do of one done last year, was signed between CABEI and Barclays Bank PLC. It is designed to finance foreign trade operations in Central America and was effective as of November 21, 2000.
Three companies, one French and two Mexican have pre-qualified to present bids in April for Nicaragua’s state owned telecoms company (ENITEL).
On March 20 the National Assembly (Congress) elected four new Magistrates for the Supreme Court of Justice. This fulfilled the regulation established in the amendments to the Political Constitution regarding the numerical increase of magistrates in the Supreme Court from 12 to 16 (Article No. 163 Cn). The new Magistrates elected are: Armengol Cuadra, Carlos Guerra Gallardo, Guillermo Selva Argüello and Rafael Solís Cerda.
The law was approved on February 24 and published in the Official Newspaper on March 16. It authorises the National Port Company to lease, by public bidding and for a 25-year period, the port facilities of Puerto Cabeza.
A partial reform to Nicaragua’s constitution was approved 18 January 2000 and published the following day in the official gazette.
A new law on government contracting was published in the official gazette at the beginning of January.