The presidents of the Central American Integration System (SICA) met Wednesday in San José for a summit with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto, where they discussed issues to improve collaboration in the region.
Prior to the beginning of the summit, Peña Nieto expressed his support for the construction of a bridge at the border between Costa Rica and Panama, and said that “infrastructure is strategic to achieve greater trade.”
He also stressed that Mexico is closely related to Central America, and that his objective is to foster integration, because “we share borders with this region and more than a division, they should be a symbol of unity and joint opportunities.”
In an activity to honor him given by Costa Rica’s President Laura Chinchilla, Peña Nieto said his government is committed to boost Mexico’s presence in SICA.
Costa Rica has a free trade agreement with Mexico since 1995. However, a new negotiation was called in order to modernize it and to include all Central American nations, a process that ended in October 2011.
The new agreement was already signed by all regional countries except Costa Rica, but Chinchilla promised that the Legislative Assembly would approve it in March.
Peña Nieto visited Costa Rica’s National Theater, where Chinchilla presented him with the “National Order of Juan Mora Fernández,” with which Costa Rica honors “distinguished politicians.”
In addition to the presidents of Costa Rica and Mexico, the summit included presidents Otto Pérez Molina, Ricardo Martinelli and Porfirio Lobo, from Guatemala, Panama and Honduras, respectively. The governments of Nicaragua, El Salvador, Belize and the Dominican Republic sent representatives.