Official confirms start of talks with international cement firms, Honduras

Official confirms start of talks with international cement firms, Honduras
Published: 18 July 2007

The Honduras government has started talks with international firms interested in competing in its cement market, deputy industry and commerce minister Jorge Rosa told BNamericas, confirming local press reports.  
 
Discussions have started with two Mexican firms, Rosa said, confirming reports from local daily La Tribuna. Discussions also are being held with an Italian firm, but company names could not yet be revealed.  
 
Honduras’ national demand is presently covered by three existing plants: one operated by Holcim, another by Lafarge, and a third from a Japanese company. 
 
However, "we always try to provide incentives for competition," said Rosa, adding: "The fact that [demand] is covered does not mean that it is covered sufficiently, and that there is adequate competition."  
 
The arrival of additional competition, strengthened by existing laws as well as the implementation of the Central American-US free trade agreement (Cafta), would lead to improved prices and quality for cement consumers, said Rosa. 
 
"If we did not provide incentives for this, we would be supporting the monopolies and oligopolies," said the deputy minister.