Nicaragua will be hosting the 19th Free Zones of the Americas Conference later this year to highlight investment opportunities in the region’s free zones.

The event, ‘The Continent of New Opportunities!,’ will be held on 4-6 November in the country’s capital Managua, and will enable participants to interact with experts and learn about trends, recent developments and opportunities offered by the sector in Latin America.

A two-day conference will address various topics, including the experience of leading companies in the industry. Also, investors will discuss their motivation to do business in the region, as well as the main factors that companies consider before investing in Latin America. Additionally, there will be panels where international speakers will be discussing how regional value chains are a new reality in global trade.

The conference is mainly directed towards free zone users, representatives of industrial parks, investors, customs officers, exporters and freight companies.

In 2014, exports from Nicaragua’s free zones reached US$2.385bn, representing 7% growth in comparison to 2013. Additionally, during the first quarter of 2015, free zone exports reached US$537m, according to data from the National Free Zones Commission (CNZF). Around two-thirds of the country’s free zone exports consist of apparel. The free zones are industrial parks where raw materials can be imported duty-free as long as they are exported once assembled into a finished product.

Organisers include the Nicaraguan Association of the Textile and Apparel Industry, along with the Free Zones of the Americas Association, the National Commission of Free Zones of Nicaragua, PRONicaragua, the official investment and export promotion agency of Nicaragua, the Superior Council of the Private Enterprise, and the Nicaraguan Federation Chamber of Private Free Zones.

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