Nicaragua Interested In BRICS Potential
President Ortega wishes to diversify supply chains away from the United States
Nicaragua is aware of the opportunities for development that the BRICS association (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) provides, and will deepen relations with its member states, Nicaraguan Minister of Finance Ivan Acosta has stated.
Speaking at the Vladivostok Eastern Economic Forum, he said that “We believe that BRICS is a viable choice for a global alliance that provides numerous opportunities for growth in developing countries, particularly those with a different perspective on the global situation. We will continue to try to strengthen ties with the BRICS nations.”
Nicaragua along with Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and the Dominican Republic is a member of the CAFTA-DR free trade bloc. It is also a member of the ALBA (Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America) bloc, which additionally includes Cuba, Venezuela, Dominica, Antigua & Barbuda, Saint Vincent & the Grenadines, Granada, and Saint Kitts & Nevis.
Today, 60% of Nicaragua’s exports still go to the United States, most of which are apparel, rolled tobacco, and produce such as raw sugar and coffee. However, Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega wants to diversify Nicaraguan exports to a wider market and with hoped for better trade terms. China is Nicaragua’s second largest importer.
China’s trade with Nicaragua is relatively small, with just US$689 million of exports to the country in 2019. The main products that China exported to Nicaragua are Light Rubberized Knitted Fabric (US$135M), Broadcasting Equipment (US$18.9M), and Pesticides (US$18.7M). During the past few years however exports from China to Nicaragua have increased at an annualized rate of 21.6%.
In 2019, Nicaragua exported US$39.3M to China . The main products that Nicaragua exported to China were Raw Sugar (US$12.7M), Electrical Control Boards (US$7.75M), and Ground Nut Oil (US$6.81M). During recent years however Nicaraguan exports to China have increased at an annualized rate of 37.5%.
Russia, also on the look-out for new markets and suppliers would also be a welcoming BRICS partner and has already been active sourcing items from Latin America that it used to source from the EU, with new winter season fruit suppliers a priority.