Matt Haynes, Cone Denim’s vice-president of denim operations for Latin America, answered The Nica Times questions about his company’s investment in Nicaragua.
NT.When Cone Denim was deciding on Nicaragua, was the political situation, including Ortega’s lead in the polls, a factor?
M.H. The political stability of a country is always an issue which is carefully considered during the due-diligence process.We carefully analyzed future political scenarios and their possible impact on our project.
We feel that our project is of such positive impact for the country that it should and would be supported by future administrations.
What was your first reaction when you heard Ortega had won?
Any time that a change of administration occurs during a project of this magnitude it generates a certain amount of concern regarding national policies and the continuation of focus and support of governmental agencies for projects in process such as ours. This concern is mitigated once the new administrations policies and strategies are made known.
What is your reaction after having met with Ortega?
President-elect Ortega confirmed that his administration would continue national policies regarding security of foreign investment in Nicaragua, respect for property rights and support of CAFTA to improve the business climate in Nicaragua.
In the case of ITG – Cone Denim Nicaragua (CDN), there was particular interest in confirming that the new administration would honor and comply with all of the agreements and commitments made with us by the previous administration.
Ortega has given complete assurances of his government’s commitment to our project and intent to fulfill all obligations surrounding the investment.
We are optimistic that our project will move forward with the support of the Nicaraguan government and that the country can continue on its track of international investment and economic development.