San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Regional free trade agreement with Mexico enters into force

A free trade agreement between Central America and Mexico entered into force this week, the Costa Rican Foreign Trade Ministry (COMEX) reported on Monday.

For Costa Rica, the treaty is an update of an agreement the two countries signed in 1994.

Foreign Trade Minister Anabel González said the deal will allow increased trade with, and investment from, Mexico.

In order to take advantage of the treaty’s benefits, exporters must fill out a certificate that will be made available at COMEX’s website in coming days. Businesses with certificates from the previous treaty are entitled to use them for a period of 45 days.

Mexico is the third most important destination for Costa Rican products, behind the United States and Spain. However, Costa Rica has a negative trade balance with Mexico. According to Costa Rica’s Foreign Trade Promotion Office, exports to Mexico in 2012 totaled $322 million, while imports totaled $1.1 billion.

Costa Rica exports to Mexico mostly palm oils, prepared food and rubber products, among others.

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