News and insight for North America's fresh produce buyers
Gill McShane


Friday 15th August 2008, 05:52 Central Time

Costa Rica-China FTA on the table

A potential free trade deal could benefit exports of Costa Rican bananas and coffee to the Chinese mainland

Costa Rica-China FTA on the table

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Costa Rica’s Foreign Trade Minister Marco Ruiz has revealed that his country is keen to strike a lucrative Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with China in a bid to tap into opportunities for its agricultural products, such as bananas and coffee.

Over the course of the next two months, the Ministry is expected to consult with various agricultural sectors across the country before recommending that President Óscar Arias sets a date to start FTA negotiations with China.

Mr Ruiz said that China has become the corner-stone for Costa Rican products arriving in Asia, adding that Costa Rica has all the credentials to consolidate a position in the region as it has in other markets such as the US, Canada, Central America and the Caribbean.

“It’s vital that Costa Rica develops a country base in Asia in order to develop the entire region, and we couldn’t choose a better option than China, where Costa Rica already operates an Embassy and a trade promotion office,” explained Mr Ruiz.

China should not be seen as a threat, Mr Ruiz added, but rather an opportunity to tap into opportunities to expand exports of Costa Rican agricultural products, such as coffee or bananas, as well as other food goods.

China’s ambassador to Costa Rica, Wang Xiaoyu, confirmed China’s interest in a potential deal, citing the Central American nation’s strategic geographical location to supply China as a driving factor for negotiations.


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