Costa Rica and Ecuador begin Free Trade Agreement (FTA) negotiations
In the first round of talks, the aim is to make progress on regulatory issues to focus on market access.
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"Under a simple approach with the possibility of reaching a mutually satisfactory agreement in the short term," said the Costa Rican Minister of Foreign Trade, Manuel Tovar.
In June of this year, Rodrigo Chaves, President of Costa Rica and his Ecuadorian counterpart Guillermo Lasso, agreed at a meeting within the framework of the Summit of the Americas to negotiate aa free trade agreement starting this year.
According to EFE, in this first round, which is being held virtually until Friday, Aug. 12, both countries will review regulatory issues, rules of origin, trade facilitation, sanitary and phytosanitary measures, technical barriers to trade, trade remedies, competition policy, intellectual property, government procurement, services, financial services, telecommunications, e-commerce, temporary entry of business people, investment, environmental, labor, institutional matters and dispute settlement.
The Government of Costa Rica also indicated that the negotiation will include the topics of good regulatory practices, gender and micro, small and medium-sized enterprises. Following this round, the Ministry of Foreign Trade will hold consultations with the sectors on goods and services from Augu. 16 to 23.
This would be Costa Rica's fourth FTA with a Latin American country. It currently has agreements with Colombia, Peru and Chile. According to official data, commercial exchange between Costa Rica and Ecuador in 2021 reached $74.6 million, of which $49.8 million corresponded to Costa Rican exports, and $24.8 million to Ecuadorian exports.
Among the main export products from Costa Rica to Ecuador are scrap metal, medicines, electronic materials, tires, cardboard as well as industrial materials. On the other hand, Ecuador sells Costa Rica mainly prepared and canned fish, fresh fish, steel wire, medicines, textiles, shrimp, among others.