UK-Central America – New Business Opportunities

High Level Business Conference

Date: 5 March 2014

Venue: Lancaster House, London

The Central American Business Council organised a half-day high level business conference and evening networking reception on behalf of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the Diplomatic Missions of the Member Countries of the Central American Integration System (SICA) in London.
This important event set out the opportunities for UK companies in Central American countries, comprising Belize, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama, the members of SICA. With 52 million people, an average GDP growth of 4.1% over the last ten years and treaty-level links with the EU on trade, investment, development cooperation and political dialogue, the region imports over US$64 billion worth of goods each year and represents a stable and fast-growing market for UK business and investors to explore.

This event sought to give new visibility to the SICA region, a potential new market for UK investors seeking to address local and international needs.  High-level speakers with first-hand knowledge and experience in the region answered common questions raised by businesses approaching Central America for the first time – looking in particular at legal, financial and security issues in the operating business environment of SICA countries.

This unique event also looked specifically at concrete opportunities for trade and investment in the following sectors:

1) Energy (Conventional/Renewable)

2) Infrastructure

3) Mining, including oil and gas

4) Food and beverages and consumer goods

5) Sugar and the potential for diversification

The event was held at Lancaster House, a prestigious venue within the grounds of St James’s palace in Central London. Senior government representatives from each of the countries attended the event.

The event was sponsored by: London and Regional Properties/Panama Pacifico, Air France-KLM, the Central American Bank for Economic Integration (CABEI), Consortium de Abogados Centroaméricos, Volterra Fietta, De La Rue and Edrington.

For the final agenda, please click here.


Click on the headings below to access the powerpoint presentations from the conference. 

Economic prospects for the region: Hon. Hugo Martínez, Secretary General, Central American Integration System (SICA)

Getting the right legal advice: José Evenor Taboada, Chairman, Consortium de Abogados Centroaméricos

Understanding and addressing security risk: Carlos Caicedo, Senior Principal Analyst for Latin America, IHS 

Logistics and Competitiveness in Central America: Sebastian Nieto Parra, Acting Head of the Americas Desk, OECD Development Centre

Energy and clean energy: Dr Nick Rischbeith, Executive President, Central American Bank for Economic Integration (CABEI) 

Infrastructure and port development: Esteban Diez, Transport Principal Specialist, Inter-American Development Bank (IDB)

Sugar: Adding value through diversification: José Orive, Executive Director, International Sugar Organisation (ISO)

Working together to build agricultural exports to the EU: Hon. Luis Ramón Rodríguez, Minister of Agriculture, Dominican Republic, on behalf of the SICA Pro Tempore Presidency