The Costa Rica News (TCRN)-The Association Agreement with the European Union (EU) comes into force August 1st, in at least three of the six Latin American countries that signed it in June of 2012. The agreement is aimed at boosting trade and deepening cooperation and political dialogue.

The implementation of this agreement, which will coincide with the entry into force of the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between the EU and Colombia, was agreed to by the European bloc with Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala , Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama, all members of the Central American Integration System (SICA) along with Belize and the Dominican Republic.

The agreement, ratified by the European Parliament and its Central American partners in December, has three pillars: political dialogue, cooperation and trade.

Once in force, the agreement will allow 91% of Central American products to enter the EU free of taxes. Also, 64% of Europeans products will enter Central America under the same conditions. This will prove beneficial for an area with nearly 50 million people and where half of which live in poverty.

A 15% of Central American exports goes to the EU, which mainly imports bananas, coffee and pineapples. This figure constituted about 4.071 million dollars in 2012, according to the Federation of Chambers and Associations of Exporters.

According to the European Commission, the agreement could increase long-term revenues of the six countries, from 0.5% in the case of Nicaragua to 3.5% in the case of Costa Rica.

In addition, EU exporters could save up to $ 115 million annually in taxes.

The Costa Rica News (TCRN)
San Jose, Costa Rica