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Netherlands 2nd largest destination for Costa Rican exports
As a former colonial power in the Caribbean, the Netherlands retains its strong interest in the region; the $1 billion container port at Moín now being built by Rotterdam-based APM Terminals is Costa Rica’s largest single foreign investment project.
After APM, the second-largest Dutch investor here is Heineken, which owns 25 percent of Florida Bebidas. Another key player is Unilever, which has four factories in Central America, including a facility in San Antonio de Belén that produces Costa Rica’s ubiquitous Salsa Lizano.
Mette Gonggrijp, Holland’s ambassador in Costa Rica said that Costa Rican exports to her country — led by bananas, coffee, pineapples and electronics — exceed $3 billion a year, making Holland the second-largest buyer of local products after the United States. But that can be misleading.
“Since the Netherlands is the main gateway to Europe, a lot of what enters the Port of Rotterdam is then distributed to other countries in the EU,” she said, explaining that Dutch exports to Costa Rica come to around $124 million.
“We used to have a development aid relationship with Costa Rica. Now the focus has changed much more to political issues — where we think along the same lines as Costa Rica on human rights — and to economic and commercial issues,” she said. “The relationship has been evolving, particularly with the EU-SICA free trade agreement which entered into force at the end of 2013.”
Click here to read more at ticotimes.net.
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