Costa Rican legislators have ratified their free trade agreement (FTA) with China, which, once implemented, could see 99.6% of the country’s total exports enter China duty free.
Treaty negotiations began in January, 2009, and concluded with the adoption of an agreement on April 8, 2010. Then, on May 31 this year, Costa Rica’s Legislative Assembly approved the deal during its second reading.
According to the Minister of Foreign Trade, Anabel González, the FTA could come into force as early as July 1.
China is Costa Rica’s second largest trading partner, and González said much could be learnt from China’s economic expansion, ability to transform and adapt to the needs of the market.
Costa Rica has been working on building its relationship with China still further in recent months, and maximizing the opportunities in trade, investment and cooperation afforded by the FTA is regarded as crucial.
A Costa Rican mission to China last October aimed at promoting the country as a trade and investment destination, and it was followed by a recent Business Summit, which was used to deepen understanding of business cultures and build trust, while exploring new opportunities.
This bilateral trade relationship has expanded rapidly over the past decade. From 2000-10, Costa Rican exports to China grew by an average of 37% each year, with imports from China increasing by 29% annually.
In addition, while in 2000, this trade was worth US#91.1 million, by 2010, it amounted to US$1.27 billion.