San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Costa Rica-Canada Free Trade Agreement updated

Costa Rica and Canada finished a fifth round of negotiations to modernize a free trade agreement between the two countries.

Last week, foreign trade officials from the two governments reached agreements on technical barriers to trade, provisions, objectives, administration of the treaty, financial services, government purchases and customs procedures.

They also completed chapters on cooperative agreements, monopolies and state enterprises, and an agreement on telecommunications and investment is almost ready, pending review.

Issues on market access, tariff elimination for products from free zones, more flexible rules for textiles and Canada’s interest in greater market access for agricultural products are still being discussed.

“There are very few pending issues, and our plan is to finish them during a meeting in mid-September,” said Costa Rican Foreign Trade Vice Minister Fernando Ocampo.

The free trade agreement between Costa Rica and Canada was implemented in 2002. Since then, total trade between the countries has increased from $102 million to $273 million in 2011, a cumulative increase of 168 percent.

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