Costa Rica to increase trade through FTA with South Korea

Costa Rica hopes to move increase its trade with Asia with the approval of a Free Trade Agreement with South Korea, encompassing 80 percent of the Central American country’s products.

Foreign Trade Minister Dyala Jimenez: “We hail with great enthusiasm the approval … of the (South) Korea-Central America FTA. A great day for the foreign trade sector.”

The FTA was approved by the Costa Rican Congress on Tuesday evening during the second and definitive legislative debate with just one lawmaker voting against it. To enter into force, it now requires only the signature of President Carlos Alvarado.

With the pact, Costa Rica is hoping to expand its trade relationship with the Asian market, given that this treaty now joins FTAs that the country already has with China and Singapore.

The Foreign Trade Ministry said on Wednesday in a statement that the FTA with Seoul stipulates that 80 percent of Costa Rica’s products will immediately enjoy zero tariffs in the South Korean market, 16 percent will receive gradual tariff relief and 4 percent will be excluded from the pact.

Some products will be freed from import tariffs immediately. Other products such as bananas, frozen pork and beef, fresh cassava, pineapples and fruit juices will be subject to tariffs that will be gradually reduced over time.


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