UNCTAD this week has been conducting the first in a series of workshops for Nicaraguan diplomats on FDI promotion and facilitation. The series is part of an UNCTAD technical cooperation programme that has already trained diplomats from Asia, Africa and Latin America.
Attracting more FDI has become a high priority for the Nicaraguan government in its economic development efforts. President Enrique Bolaños Geyer has been spearheading these efforts, mobilizing all levels of government to promote the country as an investment pole. The Nicaraguan Foreign Service will play a key role in reaching new potential investors and facilitating investment projects. A new unit has accordingly been established in the Foreign Affairs Ministry, which will coordinate a comprehensive capacity-building programme with UNCTAD´s assistance. The programme will train officials from the Ministry and diplomats posted abroad.
FDI inflows to Nicaragua averaged just over $200 million during 2003 and 2002, according to UNCTAD´s World Investment Report 2004. The report suggests that prospects for FDI in Latin America are uncertain and depend not only on GDP growth in the region but also on improvements in the investment environment in individual countries. In that context Nicaragua has asked UNCTAD to conduct an investment policy review.