SAN PEDRO SULA.
Honduras and the Central American countries they will seek to strengthen diplomatic and commercial relations with the United Kingdom, which is no longer part of the European Union (EU).
Wednesday, the European Parliament ratified the brexit (departure from United Kingdom of the EU) from 00:00 on the first of February after three years and seven months of which 51.9% of the British, through a referendum, decided to disconnect from the most integrated community in the world.
For Hondurasparticularly the United Kingdom It is an important market for their merchandise, such as coffee, and a country with which it has maritime borders across Grand Cayman, one of its overseas territories.
While he was part of the European Union, became the fifth most important market for Honduran merchandise after Germany, Belgium, Holland and Spain.
Between 2010 and 2019, the trade balance between the two countries amounted to $ 1,000,256,911, according to figures from Central Bank of Honduras (BCH) During this period, Honduras exported $ 801,568,970 and imported goods in the amount of $ 198,687,941.
In December 2012, the European Parliament approved the Association Agreement of Central America and the European Union (negotiated between 2007 and 2010) to facilitate trade between the two regions, six months after being signed in Tegucigalpa
This instrument allowed Honduran exports to the United Kingdom to grow from $ 65 million (2013) to more than $ 100 million (2018), according to BCH figures.
For Graco Pérez, university professor and diplomacy expert, leaving the United Kingdom of the EU It naturally causes effects on relations with all countries, regardless of distance.
Nevertheless, “Honduras you can establish a new relationship with the United Kingdom. In fact, they have already signed a commercial agreement. You should strengthen your business relationships and establish alliances. United Kingdom, when leaving the EU, you must look for new partners in the world, ”he said.
Starting tomorrow, the United Kingdom will enter a stage of 11 months of transition (which implies negotiations between London and Brussels) to abandon once and for all the EU January 1, 2021.
Before the imminent brexit, over the past two years, governments prepared and negotiated the new Association Agreement between United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and Central America, which is practically a replica of the trade preferences established in the agreement with the EU.
In Honduras, this new agreement (signed on July 18, 2019 in Managua, Nicaragua) entered into force this week after being published (January 28, 2020) by the Official Gazette, considering “promising expectations of commercial exchange”.
“Little by little, Honduras Y Central America they will have to have direct relations within the framework of that association agreement because it will not be in the European Union. That new agreement, I think, will open new possibilities because before I was in that system of integration of the European Union”, Considers Pérez. “Honduras must see United Kingdom As an opportunity United Kingdom intends to approach countries like Honduras“
one-Trade agreement similar to the previous one
Pérez does not believe that Brexit causes negative consequences for Hondurans who decide to travel to that country for different reasons, such as tourism.
“United Kingdom he has never applied for a visa to Honduras. We Hondurans can travel without a visa and they grant them at the port of entry three months if they see that the person has the possibility to cover the expenses, ”he said.
Peréz states that in a short time Honduras will have to assume, as it has done in its relationship with Israel, a diplomatic position on the Falkland Islands, as Argentina demands its return to London.
Iván Romero Martínez, ambassador of Honduras In London, he published on Twitter yesterday that “British Foreign Minister for America and Europe PM Christopher Pincher (…) reiterated the strong support (for) the development of Honduras and the Central American integration process as our country held the presidency pro SICA tempore during this semester ”.
Since 2013, the United Kingdom is an extra-regional observer member of the Central American Integration System (SICA) with the objective of strengthening relations with this region.
Olinda Salguero, head of the cabinet of the SICA, he informed yesterday LA PRENSA newspaper that he SICA it is looking to strengthen our relations with the United Kingdom by being an observer country, with prospects for greater cooperation towards the region in the framework of the integration process ”.
Behind the brexit, “As a region we believe that it can also be an opportunity for closer cooperation with United Kingdom on those priority issues that through political dialogue we can identify. The United Kingdom has stated that it is very interested in collaborating on the issue of climate change and oceans, ”he said.
“But, in reality, there is a whole discussion that is beginning to have with the United Kingdom to identify what are the shared interests and what could be an eventual cooperation agenda with the SICA”, Said Salguero.