San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Costa Rican lawmakers approve free trade agreement with Mexico

Costa Rica’s Legislative Assembly on Tuesday night approved in a second round debate a free trade agreement between Mexico and Central America, with the vote of 42 lawmakers.

Approval in a first debate was reached in December with 39 votes in favor.

The only lawmakers who voted against the agreement were Claudio Monge and Carmen Granados, from the Citizen Action Party, and Broad Front Party lawmaker José María Villalta.

Costa Rica already had a free trade agreement with Mexico, in force since January 1995, which now is unified with the rest of Central American countries. It was the first bilateral free trade treaty negotiated by Costa Rica.

Mexico represents a market of more than 110 million people, and the new agreement aims to facilitate trade and reduce transaction costs.

Official Mexican government statistics show that trade between that country and the five Central American countries increased 3.6 times in the past 10 years.

The agreement will enter into force when published in the official newspaper La Gaceta and signed by President Laura Chinchilla.

Contact L. Arias at

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