San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Costa Rica opens new Panama trade office ahead of free-trade accord

Costa Rica has opened a foreign trade office in Panama, marking a new chapter of commerce between the two nations that awaits the signature of President Oscar Arias.

The free-trade agreement won its second and final approval, unanimously, in Costa Rica´s Legislative Assembly on Tuesday night, and Arias is expected to sign the agreement sometime this week.

Panama is Costa Rica´s top trading partner in Central America, according to the Foreign Trade Promotion Office (PROCOMER), which inaugurated its Panama branch yesterday.

Exports to Costa Rica´s southern neighbor have increased 35.6 percent this year.

“What´s more, surely the growing commercial dynamism between both countries will increase with the opening of this promotion office and the signing of the (free-trade) treaty,” PROCOMER said in a press release.

The treaty, already ratified by Panama´s legislature, will allow 94 percent of Tico goods immediate, tariff-free access to the Panamanian market.

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