U.S. Trade and Development Agency

1000 Wilson Boulevard, Suite 1600 * Arlington, Virginia 22209

Telephone (703) 875-4357 * Fax (703) 875-4009



FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:                                                                           MEDIA INQUIRIES:

  Donna Thiessen 

                                                                                                                                                                        (703) 875-4357





MANAGUA, NICARAGUA – (August 29, 2006) Developing a strategy to increase the commercial competitiveness of the Port of Corinto in support of the economic development goals of the Central America-Dominican Republic Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA-DR) is the objective of a USTDA grant awarded today to Nicaragua’s National Port Authority, Empresa Portuaria Nacional (EPN).  By helping EPN to increase capacity, upgrade systems, and improve security at the Port, the grant reflects the agency’s continued commitment to the CAFTA-DR Trade Integration Initiative.


The $430,000 grant was conferred in a ceremony held at the EPN headquarters.  USTDA’s Director for Policy and Program, Geoffrey Jackson, formalized the agency’s support for the project by signing a grant agreement with EPN’s Chairman of the Board, Alejandro Fiallos Navarro.


USTDA launched the CAFTA-DR Trade Integration Initiative in October 2005 to further CAFTA-DR implementation by building strong public-private partnerships within Central America and fostering continued momentum for increased trade and economic development in the region.  The Initiative targets projects for support in the transportation, energy, and information and communications technology sectors.   Today’s grant will further the Initiative’s objectives by funding technical assistance to EPN to  upgrade cargo handling capacity, expand operating areas, introduce modern information technology management and maintenance systems, improve security and review operational procedures.


The development of transportation infrastructure as a means to increase trade and reduce poverty is also a focus of the Plan-Puebla-Panama, an important regional program established in 2001 to provide a framework for the development of specific sectors.  One of the priorities of the Plan-Puebla-Panama is the development of Central American air cargo facilities as a vital component of a consolidated, multimodal system encompassing airports, ports, railroads and roads. 


The opportunity to provide the assistance will be competed on the Federal Business Opportunities website at  Interested U.S. firms should submit proposals according to the instructions contained in the Federal Business Opportunities announcement.  ENP will select the U.S. contractor that will perform the study.


The U.S. Trade and Development Agency advances economic development and U.S. commercial interests in developing and middle-income countries.  The agency funds various forms of technical assistance, early investment analysis, training, orientation visits and business workshops that support the development of a modern infrastructure and a fair and open trading environment.  USTDA’s strategic use of foreign assistance funds to support sound investment policy and decision-making in host countries creates an enabling environment for trade, investment and sustainable economic development.  In carrying out its mission, USTDA gives emphasis to economic sectors that may benefit from U.S. exports of goods and services.