San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

China, Costa Rica free trade begins

The Free Trade Agreement between China and Costa Rica, which Laura Chinchilla signed into law in June, went into effect Monday, China’s Ministry of Commerce said.

The Chinese government-run news agency Xinhua reported that bilateral trade has increased between the two countries almost 20 percent to $3.8 billion in 2010.

Many goods will benefit from tariff reductions such as Costa Rica’s coffee, pineapple and orange juice, processed fish products and beef, pork and rawhide. Chinese textile materials, automobiles, fruits and vegetables, chemical products, leather products, fur products and electrical equipment will all benefit from the tariff.

Costa Rica will open 45 sectors to China in service trade in areas like telecommunications, tourism and education. China will reciprocate by opening seven service sectors for Costa Rica.

The countries have agreed on rules for trade for custom procedures, sanitary regulations and several other rules.

The agreement is the 10th of its kind signed by the world’s second largest economy, the ministry said in a statement on its website. The U.S. remains Costa Rica’s biggest trade partner, and the largest economic power, Xinhua reported.

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