(posted May 8, 2:50 p.m.)- The board of directors of the Nicaraguan-American Chamber of Commerce (AMCHAM) met this morning with Vice President Omar Halleslevens in what business leaders are hoping is a first step towards establishing direct contact with the Executive Branch to address issues of national interest.
“It was a very cordial meeting, with lots of respect, in which we talked about issues that are of interest to all Nicaraguans, such as investment, trade with the United States under CAFTA, the importance of having an appropriate business climate, and the importance of institutionalism and relations with the United States, our principal trade partner,” said Yalí Molina, president of AMCHAM.
Molina noted that Nicaraguan exports to the U.S. has grown by more than 72% under CAFTA, and stressed that maintaining solid and harmonious relations with Nicaragua’s main trade partner is key to the continued economic success of the country.
Since returning to power in 2007, President Daniel Ortega has used the vice presidency to establish a permanent dialogue with business leaders representing the country’s Superior Business Council (COSEP). AMCHAM, however, has been left out of that dialogue and has oftentimes been much more critical of the government’s behavior.
Halleslevens’ sitdown with the AMCHAM board on Tuesday could represent a new willingness by the administration to improve relations with the U.S.-Nicaraguan business chamber at a time when many wonder about the future direction of U.S.-Nicaraguan relations.