U.S. Trade and Development Agency

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Fact Sheet on USTDA Program Activities in Support of CAFTA-DR Implementation

August 28-31, 2006


USTDA is providing three grants totaling $1.2 million to strong regional partners as part of its Central America-Dominican Republic Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA-DR) Trade Integration Initiative.  The Initiative aims 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.  It specifically targets projects in the transportation, energy, and information and communications technology sectors.


USTDA Policy and Program Director Geoffrey Jackson formalized the agency’s support for each of the projects by signing separate grant agreements with representatives of each project sponsor.  The following is a summary of the grants.


Managua International Airport Modernization Project:  USTDA is providing a $324,180 grant to Nicaragua’s International Airport Administration (Empresa Administradora de Aeropuertos Internacionales, EAAI) in support of its efforts to complete modernization plans for Managua’s International Airport.  The grant will help to further those objectives by funding technical assistance to EAAI for the construction of a new air cargo facility, the improvement of the airfield lighting system, and the development of an integrated security program in order to modernize the Managua International Airport.  Mr. Danilo Lacayo Rappaccioli, President of the Board of Directors, signed the grant agreement on behalf of EAAI.


Port of Corinto Competitiveness Upgrade Project:  A $430,000 USTDA grant will assist Nicaragua’s National Port Authority (Empresa Portuaria Nacional, EPN) in the development of a strategy to increase the commercial competitiveness of the Port of Corinto.  The grant will fund 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.  Mr. Alejandro Fiallos Navarro, Chairman of the Board, signed the grant agreement on behalf of EPN.


Port of Cortés Dry Bulk Unloading Terminal Project:  In Honduras, a $470,000 USTDA grant will  provide operational guidance and performance criteria to establish an effective working relationship between the National Port Authority (Empresa Nacional Portuaria, ENP), and private groups interested in developing a dry bulk unloading terminal. The objective of the grant is to help expand the capacity of the Port to handle dry bulk volumes, modernize the unloading infrastructure, lessen congestion and improve the overall efficiency of Port operations.  The Project aims to improve Honduras’ ability to take advantage of increased international trade under CAFTA-DR.  Mr. Manuel Arriaga Yacaman, General Director, signed the grant agreement on behalf of ENP.