France and Nicaragua

Presentation

Political relations

In the 1980s, France refused to align with the policy of blockades and support to the “Contras”, counter-revolutionary groups supported by Ronald Reagan.

Visits

The French Minister Delegate for Development met with the Nicaraguan Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Samuel Santos López (6 February 2013) and with the President Ortega’s Special Adviser for National Development Policies, Mr Paul Oquist (19 November 2013). Mr Santos López was also received in Paris by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Laurent Fabius, on 23 May 2013.

The French President’s personal envoy for Latin America and the Caribbean, Mr Jean-Pierre Bel, made a visit to Nicaragua from 26 to 29 March 2017, during which he was received by President Ortega and the Foreign Minister, Mr Denis Moncada.

Economic relations

Trade between France and Nicaragua is limited: in 2016, our we had a trade deficit with Nicaragua, having €52.5 million of imports and €10.2 million of exports.

Nicaragua is still little explored by French firms. Several companies do, however, have representation offices in Managua (Alcatel, Air France, L’Oréal, Peugeot, Renault and Sanofi).

France received a Nicaraguan economic delegation in November 2013, when Mr Orlando Solorzano, the Nicaraguan Minister of the Economy, Industry and Trade, met in particular with Mr Benoît Hamon, French Minister Delegate for the Social, Mutually-Supportive Economy and Consumer Affairs.

Cultural, scientific and technical cooperation

Almost 1,300 pupils study French at the Alliance Française branch in Managua and its two annexes in Léon and Granada. It acts as a European cultural centre in Managua. The Franco-Nicaraguan Lycée Victor Hugo in Managua taught 325 pupils in 2016-2017, half of whom were Nicaraguan.

About 10 students from Nicaragua go to France every year as Spanish assistants, and about 40 per year study in French universities.

For more information, visit http://www.institutfrancais-ifac.com/

Other cooperation

In the field of internal security, our cooperation prioritizes the fight against organized crime and narcotics, in the form of training courses organized locally by the internal security attaché.

French NGOs are very present and active in Nicaragua, particularly in the areas of food security, water, renewable energy, prevention of domestic and sexual violence, urban planning and rural development. Certain French local governments are also involved in cooperation.

The NICTA Foundation, which works with children and adolescents in difficulty, received the fifth French-German Human Rights Prize in Nicaragua in 2016.

Updated: 16 June 2017

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