TODAY NICARAGUA – Paper and machinery are some of the goods that nicaraguan businessmen plan to import in large amounts with the upcoming elimination of the “patriotic” tax of 35% on colombian products.

The decision by Ortega government to abolish the 35% tax on imports of Colombian products, which has been in place since 1999, has been welcomed by the Nicaraguan private sector, which plans to increase imports of products such as machinery, paper and raw materials. The upcoming elimination of the tax, which must be approved by the Assembly, opens the door to new business opportunities between the two countries.

Mario Amador, general manager of the National Committee of Sugar Producers of Nicaragua (CNPA), explained to Elnuevodiario.com.ni that “…The so called patriotic tax has made raw materials from the South American country more expensive. ‘There used to be a lot of paper goods brought over from Colombia, over there there is a highly developed paper industry, in books, diaries, and notebooks on which taxes had to be paid which affects national consumers and not the Colombian industry’.”

Jose Adan Aguerri, president of the Superior Council of Private Enterprise (COSEP), added that now “… ‘with this derogation we have the advantage of being able to bring in machinery. For example, for coffee processing, [machines] which are top quality and well priced, we could not get before. We will be able to bring in for example medicines, which in fact we are bringing in from Colombia (…) And that will allow us to get back to a level of competitiveness and take advantage of the market prices of these types of products of Colombian origin’.”

“… Aguerri said that Nicaragua has had to bring in paraffin from China to make candles, instead of bringing it from Colombia at a lower price. Therefore, candels in the Nicaraguan market were more expensive than those coming in from El Salvador.”