San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Costa Rica announces trade agreements with Colombia and European association

President Laura Chinchilla announced that Costa Rica and Colombia will begin negotiations on a free trade agreement expected to be signed later this year.

On Tuesday morning, the president said in a press conference that negotiations will start June 15, when Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos visits Costa Rica.

According to Chinchilla, the agreement is the only requirement Costa Rica lacks to become a full member of the Pacific Alliance, a group that promotes the growth, development and competitiveness of member countries.

The president also said Costa Rica, Honduras, Guatemala and Panama and the countries of the European Free Trade Association on Wednesday will begin their second round of negotiations for signing a free trade agreement in Panama City. The first meeting with the association, formed by Iceland, Lichtenstein, Norway and Switzerland, was in March. The third round of negotiations will be held in Costa Rica at a date to be decided in coming days.

Costa Rica seeks to complement the association agreement between Central America and the European Union, whose signature is scheduled for June 29 in Honduras.

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