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China, Costa Rica Conclude FTA Talks

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

China and Costa Rica are to solidify their newly established trade ties with the impending signing of a bilateral Free Trade Agreement, following the sixth and final round of negotiations on February 10. The three-day meeting focused on finalizing a list of products that will be exclusive of trade tariffs, and rules that will govern intellectual property.

On the conclusion of the year-long negotiations, Fernando Ocampo, Costa Rica's Chief Trade Negotiator, said to reporters that the agreement would bring great opportunities for Costa Rican exporters. Upon the agreementís entry into force, exports from Costa Rica will be given priority treatment, with exemptions from pre-existing trade tariffs for all products but sugar. Under the agreement, tariffs will be removed on 58% of Chinese goods.

Bilateral trade has been going from strength-to-strength since the two countries established diplomatic ties in June 2007 when Costa Rica reversed its longstanding allegiance with Taiwan to establish trade ties with mainland China. Since then, trade has increased markedly, amounting to USD3.18bn in 2009.