Costa Rica’s Foreign Trade Ministry (COMEX) and the legislature’s Special Permanent Committee agreed Thursday morning to recommend approval of the free-trade agreement with China.
The agreement will be debated on the floor of the Legislative Assembly.
“The analysis and study done on the agreement were thorough,” said Foreign Trade Minister Anabel González. “Over 100 questions were addressed and agreed upon between 15 organizations of the private sector and representatives from the Agriculture, Health, Economy, Industry, and Foreign Trade Ministries.”
González added, “For Costa Rica, it is of utmost importance to establish the trade and investment opportunities with China provided by this free-trade agreement.”
The agreement, which was highly contested during negotiations, eventually gained approval from all the business chambers in the country, with the exception of the Chamber of Industries.
The Costa Rican-Chinese relationship has surged since former Costa Rican President Oscar Arias established diplomatic ties with the Asian giant in June 2007. Longtime friend to Costa Rica Taiwan severed ties with the country once the new relations were announced.
Chinese influence here has grown, most visibly with the construction of the giant $80 million National Stadium in La Sabana, west of San José. The stadium, which was given to Costa Rica as a gift, is being built by Chinese laborers.
Since 2000, Costa Rica trade with China has increased from $91.1 million to nearly $1.5 billion in 2009.