With the aim of encouraging debate on the effects of free trade agreements (FTAs) in Central American countries, not only in terms of trade statistics, but also on issues of poverty and inclusive economic development, members of the Regional Observatory on Free Trade and Corporate Responsibility in Central America (Observatorio Regional de Tratados de Libre Comercio y Responsabilidad Empresarial en Centroamérica – ORTLCRE) present this analysis, from the perspective of trade unions, small-scale farming organisations, community organisations, social movements and organisations promoting development.

The Observatory on Trade Agreements (ORTLCRE) believes that there are two sides to the story. On the one hand we recognise that trade and foreign investment in the region has made significant achievements at the macro level, but on the other hand there are a number of elements such as working conditions, environmental effects, predominance of mono-crop agriculture export, and structural social and economic gaps that limit the economic inclusion of the population in these achievements.

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