Nicaragua is set to ratify a free trade agreement with the US after its parliament passed a package of law reforms to comply with US demands.

The central American state will implement the US-Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) on 1 April, and will be the third nation to do so after El Salvador and Honduras.

The US approved CAFTA last year, but refused to implement it by the target date of 1 January, claiming that none of the other countries involved had made the legal reforms necessary to completing the deal.

Nicaragua's reforms included changes to rules governing patents and copyrights.

Apart from Nicaragua, El Salvador and Honduras, CAFTA also covers Guatemala, Honduras and the Dominican Republic.