15 April News Brief Central America/Caribbean

Karla Montaner

TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras – New markets to confront crisis: The Honduran Federation of Agricultural Producers and Exporters (FPX) will promote five new products suitable for export: organic cashew nuts, high quality organic cacao, processed bananas, tilapia and Thai-style guava. According to a study carried out by the FPX with support from the Dutch Centre for the Promotion of Imports from Developing Countries (CBI), these items could be used to diversify the range of products exported by the country. These products have emerged as potential new markets in the face of the financial crisis, particularly given the fact that prices of traditional crops such as sweet potato, onion, Tabasco chilli, okra and banana have been virtually frozen since 2005.

[El Heraldo, La Prensa]

SAN SALVADOR, El Salvador – Promising future for tourism: Businessmen from the Central American tourism sector have said that the financial crisis is not affecting the sector or destabilising its development. In the run-up meeting to the Central America Travel Market 2009 (CATM), which will take place from 9 to 11 October in San Salvador, representatives of the region’s tourism ministries and the Central American Tourism Council (CCT) highlighted interest from wholesalers, service providers and international promoters wishing to take part in the event. CATM is considered the most important showcase for tourist attractions in Guatemala, Honduras, Belize, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, El Salvador and Panama.

[El Mundo, Diario Expreso]

PANAMA CITY, Panama – Social policies gain importance: The Panamanian government reiterated its commitment to investing in social and economic policies to benefit children. Social Development Minister María Roquebert made this clear when she delivered her third report on the state of Panamanian children to the UN. According to the report, social expenses in this area increased from US$992.7 million in 2003 to $1.83 billion in 2007, and these funds have been used to create projects directed at reducing poverty. The report also highlights actions taken to fight malnutrition and tackle educational issues

[El Financiero, Notimex]

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