Trade Minister Announces Negotiators for E.U. Pact

February 9, 2007

Foreign Trade Minister Marco Vinicio Ruiz announced Wednesday that a team of three Costa Ricans, two of whom helped negotiate a controversial trade pact with the United States in 2003, has been chosen to represent the country in negotiations for a Central American-European Union Association Agreement.

Chief negotiator Roberto Echandi – who is also Costa Rica’s ambassador to the European Union – as well as adjunct negotiators Cristian Guillermet, representing the Foreign Relations Ministry, and Fernando Ocampo, representing the Foreign Trade Ministry (COMEX), will work with representatives of other Central American countries in the coming months to prepare for the first E.U. meetings, expected to begin mid-year, Ruiz told reporters following President Oscar Arias’ weekly Cabinet meeting.

Asked why he chose Echandi and Ocampo, who served on the often-criticized negotiating team of the Central American Free-Trade Agreement (CAFTA) – activists at anti-CAFTA marches often claim the pact was negotiated “behind the backs of Costa Ricans” and that negotiators ceded too much ground – Ruiz said they’re simply the most qualified people for the job.

“It’s not a political team. It’s a technical team,” he said, adding later that, “we need the best people there, and these are the best people.”

However, the government plans to “learn from the experiences we had (with CAFTA) and involve the ministries a great deal” in the negotiation process, as well as social groups, Ruiz said. The Foreign Ministry and COMEX will work with ministers to ensure the sectors under their leadership are represented, and will coordinate with the Planning Ministry to ensure that aid or cooperation the European Union offers during negotiations meets Costa Rica’s needs.

 

Facebook Comments

You may be interested

How to file a criminal complaint, or ‘denuncia,’ in Costa Rica
Costa Rica
774 views
Costa Rica
774 views

How to file a criminal complaint, or ‘denuncia,’ in Costa Rica

Caeli Chesin - March 22, 2019

In Costa Rica, a criminal complaint can report workplace harassment, a home invasion or sexual assault, among other crimes related…

Off the eaten path: Aroi Thai
Dining & Nightlife
871 views
Dining & Nightlife
871 views

Off the eaten path: Aroi Thai

William Ayre - March 22, 2019

Aroi Thai was the first Thai restaurant in Costa Rica. They started as a delivery-only service before opening a restaurant…

Costa Rica confirms measles cases in children of United States citizens
Costa Rica
3496 views
Costa Rica
3496 views

Costa Rica confirms measles cases in children of United States citizens

Alejandro Zúñiga - March 21, 2019

Costa Rica is enacting a National Surveillance Protocol after confirming two cases of measles, the Health Ministry announced Thursday afternoon.…