Costa Rica and Ecuador successfully concluded negotiations for a free trade agreement on Monday, a process that began last August and required four rounds of talks.
The Ministry of Foreign Trade of Costa Rica explained that this Trade Partnership Agreement between the two countries must now be reviewed by legal experts before it is signed, possibly in the first quarter of 2023. Finally, the agreement must be ratified by the Legislative Power of each country.
According to official information, the agreement provides an “adequate balance that reasonably serves the interests of both parties” and will allow free trade for “more than 90% of products.”
The president of Costa Rica, Rodrigo Chaves, expressed in a statement his satisfaction with the closure of these negotiations, since “it is a clear sign of the commitment we assume to resume the path of integration of Costa Rica into international markets.”
“We have carried out this process expeditiously and pragmatically, demonstrating that we have sufficient technical and political capabilities to successfully bring the trade negotiations to a successful conclusion,” the president said.
Foreign Trade Minister Manuel Tovar said that the negotiations reached “a more than satisfactory balance for Costa Rica’s export interests to Ecuador.”
“When this agreement enters into force, more than 90% of current Costa Rican exports to the Ecuadorian market could enter tariff-free. I also want to highlight that the negotiation process was carried out in a transparent manner and in constant consultation with the different sectors, which allowed us to address, in the best possible way, all the sensitivities identified,” said the minister.
The Trade Partnership Agreement between Costa Rica and Ecuador also incorporates provisions related to gender equity, good regulatory practices and strengthening of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises, explained the Costa Rican Government.
This will be Costa Rica’s fourth free trade agreement with a South American nation, as it already has in force with Colombia, Peru and Chile.
Official data indicate that the commercial exchange between Costa Rica and Ecuador in 2021 reached 74.6 million dollars, of which 49.8 million correspond to Costa Rican exports and 24.8 to Ecuadorians.
The main export products from Costa Rica to Ecuador are scrap, medicines, electronic materials, tires, cardboard and other industrial materials.
For its part, Ecuador sells to Costa Rica mainly preparations and preserves of fish, fresh fish, steel, medicines, textiles, shrimp, among others.