Fabian Demicoli

GRTU meets candidate for Hon Consul for Malta in Nicaragua

GRTU has this week met Mr Walter Buhler Molina, Candidate for Hon Consul in Nicaragua. Mr Buhler was Born in Managua in 1965 and has lived 26 years in Nicaragua, including the last 12 years. Between the ages of 14 and 32 he has also lived in Switzerland. He has a B.A.in Economics and speaks Spanish, English, French, German and Italian. He started his career in the banking sector as a trainee with Swiss Banking Corporation, moving up to Emerging Markets Loans and Fiduciary Administrator with Socimer Finance and finally as Commercial  Manager in Private Banking with Banco Santander.

Today he owns and manages two boutique hotels (30 rooms in all) one in Managua, the other in Las Rivas. In addition Mr Buhler is Director of the National Chamber of Tourism, the Nicaraguan Hotel Association and President of the Association of Boutique Hotels. His family is involved in many businesses. His father is the President of the Grupo Buhler which includes pharmaceuticals, security systems, automobile. His father is also a Director in the Nicaraguan Superior Council of Private Enterprise. Buhler's brother-in-law is Director of the Nicaraguan Chamber of Industry.

Mr Buhler explained to the GRTU that the main economic activity in Nicaragua stand on the Pacific coast not the Atlantic coast, this due to history & positive aspects of the land. He informed that on the pacific side they do have some good developments as they get cruise liners.

Their main economic activity is agriculture and they produce coffee, cacao, organic & gourmet. Textile manufacturing has also started and the main export partner is the US and collaboration with Europe is on the increase. Economically, tourism & financial services present a challenge they want to overcome. They do not have a Foreign Trade Agreement with the EU but on separate products. An agreement is foreseen but this will be signed for central America not for individual countries.

Politics have been stable for the last 20 and that the cost of labor is very low, amongst lowest in Latin America – 2nd poorest country before the Haiti. They are under developed but rich in natural resources  They have no oil but they are buying oil from Venezuela and reselling it. They have some gold mines for which production is not on a large scale. Fishing is artisan, they have fish farming in shrimp.

There are still plans for a canal for Nicaragua through the river which connects the 2 seas but it is not very deep so they have to make it deeper. Water is however one of their great resources and they are afraid they would loose too much water if this had to be done.

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