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Regional Generalities Geographic Region: 571.202 km2 1 Population: 54.16 millions of inhabitants. Nominal GDP : $ 244,053 millions 1.Including: Belize,

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Presentation on theme: "Regional Generalities Geographic Region: 571.202 km2 1 Population: 54.16 millions of inhabitants. Nominal GDP : $ 244,053 millions 1.Including: Belize,"— Presentation transcript:

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2 Regional Generalities Geographic Region: km2 1 Population: millions of inhabitants. Nominal GDP : $ 244,053 millions 1.Including: Belize, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama and the Dominican Republic

3 Competitive advantages of the Region Open Markets Solid Banking Systems Quality of Local Providers Transfer of technologies and FDI Availability of Financial Services Quality of airport infrastructure Regulations that favor Foreign Investment Source: Global Competitivity Report , WEF

4 Basic Indicators of the Region Basic Indicators of the Region INDICATORS Belize GuatemalaEl SalvadorHondurasNicaraguaCosta RicaPanama a Dominican Republic Totals and % GDP at current prices (US$ millions) 1,49349, , , , , , , ,053 GDP growth (constant prices in %) 5.3% (app. by 2012) 3,2%1.3%3.5%5.20%5.1%10.7%3.90%4.77% GDP per capita (in US$) 8,700 (app. by 2012) 3, , , , , ,126.45, , Total Population (millions of inhabitants) 0.34 (app. by July 2013) ,287,925,984, Labor Force (millions of persons) Foreign Direct Investment (US$ millions) (app. by 2012) 1, , ,2002,822.93, ,227.2 Foreign Debt (US$ millions) 1,017.8 (app. by 2012) 6,308.98,050.33,646.84, , , Source: “Indicators”, Strategy & Business Magazine, Edition No. 165, September-October, 2013 World Bank : www. worldbank.org World Factbook 2012 : CEPAL :http://www.eclac.cl/ Central Bank of Belize:

5 Indicators (Amounts in US$ millions) BelizeGuatemalaEl Salvador HondurasNicaraguaCosta Rica PanamaDominican Republic TOTAL C.A. Foreign CIF Imports ,247.57,573.76,784.94, ,055.69, , ,567.3 Foreign FOB Exports ,340.33,354.63,032.71,872.58, , , Trade Balance ,907.24,219.13,752.22,208.24,540.28,934.58, , Exports within the Region -2,038.11, ,406.3 Imports within the Region -1,641.91,459.61, ,191.6 Economy of the Region Source: Central American Foreign Trade. January- September Report, Statistics Office, Central American Economic Integration System (SIECA) Note: Trade of Goods. Does not include inward processing arrangements or assembly plants. Data updated to January 2014 Central Bank of Belize: Data from the Visible Trade Table. Data from July to September 2013.www.centralbank.org.bz Central Bank of the Domincan Republic: Payments Balance Table www.bancentral.gov.do

6 Legal Framework for Investment and Trade in Central America

7 Legal Systems  Based on the analysis of judicial resolutions by Courts of equal or higher hierarchy as well as the interpretations of laws that these Courts issue.  Jurisprudence is the main source of Law.  A solution applicable to the case derives from the already created legal rules.  The main source of Law is created by the Legislative Branch of the Government. Jurisprudence only plays a secondary role.  The interpretation of a rule applied in a particular resolution is only obligatory for Courts of lower hierarchy.  Legal norms, which are generic, derive from the law and are applied by Courts in a case by case basis.

8 Getting the Right Legal Advice Small local firms Regional Firms Regional Networks Cooperation Agreements

9 General framework for the Investor INCENTIVES AND CONSTITUTIONAL GUARANTEES BELGUAESHONNICCRPANDR Right to private propertyXXX X X X XX Free distribution of profits and equity XX X XXXXX Free currency conversionXX X XXXXX Inverstment is not subject to a financial minimum or cap XX X* XX X XX Foreigners may be Shareholders at local entities XX X XXXXX Constitutional Guarantee: equal treatment for local or foreign investments XX X XX X XX No expropriation without prior compensation XX X XX X XX Free Access to bank creditsXXXXXXXX Fiscal benefits for Free Zone and other special regimes XXXXXXXX Protection to trademarks and patents XXXXXXXX Free imports and exportsXXXXXXXX * A mínimum of US$12, of initial investment capital is required but it is only applicable to Branches.

10 CORPORATE STRUCTURES BelizeGuatemalaEl SalvadorHondurasNicaraguaCosta RicaPanamaDominican Republic Corporations Closely held corporations Partnerships Limited Liability partnership Foreign Entities Individual Corporations Corporate Structures in the Region

11 Agreements: Public and Private Documents It is granted before a public officer or a public notary It is always formal It entails authenticity: its autor is deemed to be certain, authorized by law and granted credibility. Public instruments are erga omnes evidence of the act granted and its date. Some transactions must be done thru public document. PUBLIC DOCUMENTPRIVATE DOCUMENT It does not require special formalities It does not give faith on its own, its author must acknowledge it or the judge may consider it recognized Third parties are not bound to acknowledge their existance but until an irrefutable fact takes place

12 Taxation in the Region TAX BelizeGuatemalaEl SalvadorHonduras Value Added Tax (VAT) General Sales Tax: 12.5%12% 13% Executive Class 15% and 18% applicable to alcoholic beverages, tobacco and airfare Transfer of assets Rendering of services Imports Import Taxes (0-15%) plus VAT Use or consumption of merchandise Income Tax from Work Activities General Rate: 25% (variable taxable amount) Q a 300, % and 7% for (US$38, or more) $ 4, or more: From 10% to 30% ($22, or more) L.500, or more: 25% (US$25, or more) Income Tax from Economic Activities General Rate: 25% The first $10,000 of annual income: non taxable Profit from Lucrative Activities: 28% Simplified Optional Regime: from 5% to 7% Less than US$150,000: 25% US$150,000 or more: 30% L 500,000 or more: 25%. (US$25, or more): 25% + 5% Temporal Contribution Income Tax on Capital Gains or Losses --- Movable assets and real estate:10% Gains and Profits: 5% Capital Gains: 10% Ganancias de Capital: 10% Customs (VAT, Selective Consumption Tax, Import Taxes, Central American Integration System, Rate for Services of Importation of Merchandise amongst others) 0%-70% (different % depending on the type of merchandise) 0%-15% 0% and 40%. (different % depending on the type of merchandise) 0%- 40% (different % depending on the type of merchandise) 5%-20% (different % depending on the type of merchandise) Official Exchange Rate of the Central Bank of each country for January 20, 2014

13 TAX NicaraguaCosta RicaPanamaDominican Rep. Value Added Tax (VAT) 15%Sales Tax: 13%ITBMS: 7%ITBIS: 18% ( ) Transfer of assets Rendering of Services Imports Use or consumption of merchandise Income Tax from Work Activities Progressive: 15%-30% C$ 500, or more 30% (US$19, or more) ¢ or more: 15% (US$2, or more) Income Tax from Economic Activities C$ 500, or more: 30% (US$19, or more) Entities: ¢ or more: 30% (US $197, or more) Entities: B/.1,500, or more: 25% Entities: 29% on its taxable net income Individuals: ¢ or more: 25% (US $32, or more) Individuals: Progressive from 0%-25% B/. 50, or more shall pay B/.5, for the first B/.50, and a rate of 25% on the excess of B/.50, Individuals: Progressive from 0%25% (RDS833, or more: 25%) Income Tax on Capital Gains or Losses Movable and Real Estate: 10% ---Capital Gains: 10%Capital Gains: 25% Customs (VAT, Selective Consumption Tax, Import Taxes, Central American Integration System, Rate for Services of Importation of Merchandise amongst others) 0%-40% (different % depending on the type of merchandise) 1%-15% (different % depending on the type of merchandise) 8%-30% (different % depending on the type of merchandise) 0%-40% (different % depending on the type of merchandise) Taxation in the Region

14 Labor Aspects in C.A. COUNTRY Youngest Age Main Agreements - ILO Working DayMinimum wageSocial duties Belize 14 years Ratified and in force Not more than 9hrs daily. Not more than 45hrs weekly Agricultural: $3.30 p/hr Non Agricultural: $3.30 p/hr Commerce and Household: $3.30 p/hr Employer: 20.08% Employee: 11,92% (wages of $300 or more weekly) Guatemala 14 years Ratified and in force 8 hrs. (day shift) 6 hrs. (night shift) Agricultural: $307 Non Agricultural:$307 Manufacture: $285 Employer: 10.67% Employee4.83% El Salvador 14 years Ratified and in force 8 hrs. (day shift) 6 hrs. (night shift) Agricultural: $ Manufacture: $ Industry: $237 Commerce and Services: $ Employer: 7.50% Employee: 3% Honduras 14 years Ratified and in force 8 hrs. (day shift) 6 hrs. (night shift) Agricultural $273 Textile manufacture: $386 Services: $397 Employer: 7% Employee: 3.5%

15 COUNTRY Youngest Age Main Agreements - ILO Working DayMinimum wageSocial Duties Nicaragua 14 yearsRatified and in force 8 hrs. (day shift) 7 hrs. (night shift) Industry: $109 Agricultural: $101 Manufacture: $137 Services: $143 Employer:17% Employee: 6.25% Costa Rica 15 yearsRatified and in force 8 hrs. (day shift) 6 hrs. (night shift) Qualified E.: $ Un-qualifed E: $ Higher Education technician: $ University Graduate: $ University Degree: $1, Employer: 26,17% Employee: 9.17% Panama 15 years Ratified and in force 8hrs. (day shift) 7hrs. (night shift) Zone 1: $624 Zone 2: $490 Employer: 12.5% Employee: 9.5% Dominican Rep. 14 yearsRatified and in force Not more than 8hrs daily Not more than 44hrs weekly Qualified E.: $1,098 Semi-qualified E.: $439 Un-qualified E.: $145 Employer: 15.19% Employee: 5.91% Labor Aspects in C.A.

16 Incentives and Tax Benefits for particular Economic Activities ACTIVITY TAX BENEFITS ENERGY Tax for the importation of machinery and generation equipment. VAT for 10 years Customs Import Taxes for 5 to10 years Customs Import Taxes and VAT X 100% Customs Import Taxes Income Tax X 10 years X 5 to 10 years X X 10 years Other taxes (Temporal Solidarity Contribution Tax on the net active value; Capital Gains, Municipal taxes) AST, IVAN, IGC for 10 years Municipal Tax for 10 years. Hydroelectric Projects with wáter permits for 10 years 75% of the investment cost on equipment as credit against income tax TOURISM Tax on the transfer of real estate or Real Estate Tax ---XX X for 10 years X 10 years X 20 years x Import tax (on vehicles and others) X X (20 vehicles a year max) X x Income Tax or Value Added Tax From 80% to 100% for 10 years 15 years x Sales Tax (except in the case of initial investment) X for 6 years

17 ACTIVITY TAX BENEFITS TELE- COMMUNICATIONS Movile and conventional phone Operators 15% of the taxes charged by the Municipality Concession request for 30 years X No license for foreign entities in the case of TV and broadcasting Special Contribution between 1.5% and 3% on gross income obtained in the operation of public networks Local customs duties and others that levy the importation of equipment 100 % exemption FORESTRY Exemptions and Tax Subsidies Depending on Number of Has. 5 years --- Minimum Plantation of 15Has. 5 years after the beginning of operations For 25 years 20 years after the beginning of operations Income tax payment / Incentives To establish energy plants Deduction of 100% for reforastation Income from the sale of plantation products Income tax, importation of equipment, dividends X Other taxes Import tax, Sales and aquisition of equipment 50% of the Municipal Sales Tax Uncultured land --- Incentives and Tax Benefits for particular Economic Activities

18 ACTIVITY TAX BENEFITS FREE ZONE Import taxes x X 100% DA and importation of machinery XX 100 % exempted, including vehicles X 100% exempted Income Tax or Value Added Tax X (20 years) XX X (up to a maximum of 12 years) X (100 % the first 10 years and 60% after year 11) Manufacturers that export more than 75% of the production: 100% exemption for entities during the first 8 years and 50% during the following 4 years. 10% of credit against income tax as well as the deferral of payment for up to 10 years provided that the Head Office does not receive dividends Xx Real Estate taxesXXX X (For 10 years) 100 % exemption Other taxes Perpetual exemption of taxes on dividends Tax for the rendering of services (13%) Consular duties Local or municipal taxes on purchases Taxes on profits (conditions) Taxes on dividends and profits 100 % Municipal Tax on exportation and re- exportation Tax on the transfer of industrialized assets (ITBIS). Exemption of the tax on the formation of the entity and capital increase. Source: SELA (2012) Influence of Free Zones in the diversity of production and the participation of countries in Latin America and the Caribbean. Table 7: Prepared by Araujo Ibarra y Asociados. Incentives and Tax Benefits for particular Economic Activities

19 INDICATORS BelizeGuatemalaEl SalvadorHondurasNicaraguaCosta Rica PanamaDomin. Rep Totals and % No. of Free Zones and Entities (ent.) - 24 FZ 270 Ent. 16 FZ 200 Ent FZ 696 Ent. 256 Ent. 14 FZ 94 Ent. At Zona Colón 2,960 Ent. 51 FZ 586 Ent. 165FZ 1665,06 Ent. Free Zone FDI (US$ millIions) ,0983,965 Free Zone Exports (US$ millions) Sept 2013) 3502,238-1,2004, ,08012,782 Employment at Free Zones 17,00070,321120,00099,50658,0122,72930,000121,000518,568 MAIN SECTORS Mariculture X Manufacture (textiles, shoes, etc.) XXXXXXX X *Tobacco Electronic devices XXXX Pharmaceutical Products XXX Agro-industry XXX Medical Equipment X Services by Third Parties XXXXX Commercialization XX Free Zones: Special Regime Free Zones: Special Regime Source: SELA (2012) Influence of Free Zones in the diversity of production and the participation of countries in Latin America and the Caribbean. Table 7: Prepared by Araujo Ibarra y Asociados.

20 Migratory Simplicity for Investors Country Migratory Category Documentation Minimum Capital (General or Sectors) Other requirementsBEL Members of the EU do not need a visa. Foreign Investor  Passport  Birth Certificate  Marriage and/or divorce certificate  Photo ID US$ 50,000,00 Register at the Income Tax Department and the Social Security Board. GUA Temporal Resident/ Permanent Resident Visa for persons with independent icome (rentistas)  Passport and certificate of validity  Birth Certificate  Criminal Record – Passport and certificate of validity;  In the case of visas for persons with independent income: the type of investment must be justified. Minimum income for persons with independent inome US$1, Bank statements that reflect the deposit of monies from abroad ES Temporal Resident/ Permanent Resident  Passport  Health Certificate (issued by a Salvadorian doctor)  Criminal Record (from the country of origin)  Police Record (Salvadorian)  Tax Identification Document  Verify that the Direct Investment is registered at the National Office of Investments (ONI) Higher than 4,000 minimum wages in force at the date of request. Corporate documents duly registered at the Mercantile Registry / Investment doument. Documentation to evidence that the entity is operating. HON Investing Resident  Passport  Police Record duly apostilled.  Photos (3)  Migratory movements, Medical Certificate and Criminal Record from Honduras. US$50, Feasibility Study Proposed Schedule including the investment amount. Deposit of a guarantee of US$5, and Registration Certificate at the Investors Registry at SIC.

21 Migratory Simplicity for Investors Country Migratory Category Documentation Minimum Capital (General or Sectors) Other RequirementsNIC Temporal Resident/ Permanent Resident  Passport  Birth, Health and Marriage Certificates  Criminal Record US$30,000 Certificate of Registration as Foreign Investment at MIFIC, Legalized copy of the corporate documents and the authorization to exercise commerce duly registered at the Mercantile Public Registry; copy of the registration before the municipality and the tax authorities. CR Temporal Investing Resident  Passport, Birth Certificate  Criminal Records  Evidence of fingerprint registry and consular registration US$ in the real estate sector, assets subject to registration, shares, securities, porductive projects or projects of national interest. Forestry: US$100, PAN Temporal Investing Resident  PoA and residency request  Passport photocopy (certified by Notary Public or corresponding authority);  Criminal Record;  Certified Check for B/ in favor of the National Treasury;  Certified Check for B/ in favor of the National Migration Service;  Health Certificate;  Affidavit of personal criminal background. Forestry: B/.80, Macro-entity: B/.160, Processing Zones for Exportation: B/.250, Agrarian Sector: B/.60, If an entity: evidence their activities and ownership of shares as well as the amount of owner´s equity. Certificate by an Accountant detailing the total amount invested. Original certificate of the registration of the entity RD Investing Resident  Two copies of the complete passport  National Identification Document, Birth Certificate  Health Certificate and Criminal Record  Evidence of registration as Foreign Investment US$200, Document evidencing the type of business Residency card if investor resides in another country

22 Country Free Trade Agreements by Region Bilateral Free Trade Agreementws Partial Sope Agreements Association Agreements DR-CAFTA C.A Common Market Chile and C.A Panam a and C.A. Domin. Rep. and C.A C.A Mexico and C.A. Colombia Canada Taiwan Venezuela and Colombia CARICOM CARIFORUM and the EU EU and C.A Free Trade

23 Central American Common Market General Treaty on Central American Economic Integration Purposes: It establishes a Free Trade regime for all Products of Origin, except for the limitations contained in Annex A of the Treaty. Benefits: Products of Origin are exempted from: Import and Exports Custom Taxes Consular Duties and other taxes, charges, contributions that derive from the respective importation or exportation. Criteria to determine Merchandise of Origin: (C.A Regulation on the Origin of Merchandise) Totally obtained or produced in the territory of 1 or more Parties. Produced in the territory of 1 or more Parties with materials that qualify as being of Origin. Produced in the territory of 1 or more Parties with materials that do not qualify as being of origin but that comply with a change of tariff classification. There are specific considerations when they do not comply with the change of tariff classification. IT IS OBLIGATORY TO OBTAIN A CERTIFICATE OF ORIGIN OF THE MERCHANDISE Merchandise of Origin with materials that are not of origin : It shall be considered as being of Origin provided that the materials that are not of origin and that do not comply with a tariff reclassification do not exceed 10% of the transaction value. Some exceptions that do not grant the qualification of origin to a merchandise: Manipulation during transportation and storage aiming conservation Separation of the merchandise in parts Packing, packaging, re-packaging and conditioning for transportation purposes Testing or calibration Assembly of parts Animal sacrification Removal of rust, grease, paint and other covering substances Others Merchandise of Origin imported within the Parties: When a merchandise that qualifies as being of Origin of one Party has been imported into the territory of another Party and then exported somewhere else, it shall not affect its condition as of being of Origin.

24 Association Agreement by and between the EU and C.A Association Agreement by and between the EU and C.A Relevant Aspects of the Association Agreement Association Council Shall prepare its Internal Regulation and create the Association Committee which shall be responsible for the general application of the Agreement. May create Sub-committees. 1. Political Dialogue Scope Institutional State; good governance; democracy; human rights; promotion and protection of the rights and fundamental liberties of indigenous population. Equality of opportunities and gender: structure and orientation of international cooperation; migration, reduction of poverty and social pressure. Fundamental labor norms; protection to the environment and sustainable procurement of natural resources; Safety and regional stability: fight for citizen safety; fight against corruption; drugs; transnational organized crime; weapon trafficking. Fight against terrorism; prevention and pacific solution of controversies. Agreements To create a common financial and economic mechanism that includes the participation of the European Ivestment Bank (EIB) and the Investment Mechanism for Latin America (LAIF) 2. Cooperation Scope To strenghten peace and safety Contribute by reinforcing democratic institutions, good governance, eauality of gender, all forms of non discrimination, transparency and citizen participation. Agreements Application of international instruments Creation and promotion of nacional policies and development plans, statistical cooperation To promote the protection of personal data, measures of citizen safety and transparency Fight against organized crime Programs that promote employment and social security; improving the quality of education DEVELOPMENT of the Knowledge Space LAC EU (Latin America and the Caribbean – European Union) and initiatives such as the Common Space of Higher Education LAC EU Association Agreement ratified in The Trade core pillar is in force since August, October and December The other two core pillars await legislative ratification in the 28 countries of the European Union. Based in 3 independent core pillars: 1.Political Dialogue 2. Cooperation 3. Trade

25 Association Agreement EU-CA Main Aspects Trade Scope Simplification and modernization of Customs procedures Compliance with intellectual property rights by Customs authorities Free circulation of mercandise and regional integration Create mechanisms that reinforce FDI in high technology sectors Structuring and modernization of transportation and infrastructure located at border cheeckpoints Participation of micro and medium enterprises (MIPYMEs) in international markets. Products Preferred treatment: Bananas Main Challenges of the Region Simplicity in the commercialization of merchandise that is subject to sanitary and pesticide controls (One import certificate, One sanitary inspection and One Tariff for products from the EU) Unification of import and export declarations; reimbursement of the fee paid (Customs procedure) Definition of the Central American Competition Regulation Panama shall adjust its regulations, personnel and infrastructure to allow a larger management of cargo It establishes a term of 10 years to complete the Central American Customs Union Perfection of a common external fee using the variable geometric principle Achieve an efficient mechanism for the collection, administration and distribution o income derived from importations as well as systems to give back taxes paid in excess Panama shall recognize 224 Geographic Indications in Intellectual Property Legal Advise Challenges Need of regional firms to provide counseling Multicultural attorneys at law Type of advice Exportation of Central American goods to the EU Importation of goods from the EU Protection to Intellectual Property Advice in customs issues Inquiries of European Investors about regional laws Source: Association Agreement between the EU and CA. Reynols Luisa. “ Challenges and opportunities of the Association Agreement” Strategy and Business Magazine. January 2014

26 ¡ Thank you!


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