Foreign Trade Minister Anabel González announced Thursday that sales of Costa Rican exports to the U.S. rose 24 percent in 2010. González attributed the increase in exports to the reduction in tariffs offered by the U.S. in respect to the Central American Free-Trade Agreement (CAFTA), which came into effect on Jan. 1, 2009.
In 2010, sales of exports to the U.S. exceeded $3.3 billion, up from $2.7 billion in 2009. The U.S. accounted for over 36 percent of total Costa Rican export sales last year.
“An enormous importance this year was the growth in the number of exports to the U.S.,” González said. “What this appears to indicate is that CAFTA is providing the results that we expected. The 24 percent increase is a very significant increase.”
González said that the largest percentage increase of export revenue to the U.S. was seen in the sales of pineapples, bananas, tuna, medical devices and sugar. Sugar exports rose 192 percent in 2010.
Overall, Costa Rican sold more than $13.59 billion in exports in 2010, a 7.5 percent increase from 2009. According to González, Costa Rica had the third largest export sales per capita income in Latin America in 2010, topped only by Uruguay and Mexico.
The largest revenue yielding exports in 2010 were electronic components and microprocessors, despite a 12 percent decrease in sales. Costa Rica remains the world’s top exporter of pineapples and the second largest exporter of bananas.
A total of 4,255 different Costa Rican products were shipped to 148 different destinations in 2010, including Africa and Australia.