Costa Rica Congress approved second and final negotiation on the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between China and Singapore, which the Costa Rica government considers a valuable asset in its trade expansion in the Asia Pacific.

NAFTA, signed by both countries in April 2010 and now is now only waiting for presidential approval, was ratified by a vote of 39 in favor and 5 against, with 44 of the 57 deputies present that make up the Costa Rican legislature.

Singapore
The Costa Rican Foreign Trade Minister, Anabel González, said in a statement that Singapore is “a model country” that is globally recognized for “their integration into the world, their competitiveness and openness to investment.”

“The strategic partnership of Costa Rica with this nation, through NAFTA, we will not only take advantage of market opportunities, but above all, to learn from a great little country,” said Gonzalez.

González added that with this treaty Costa Rica advances in a “positioning strategy in the Asia Pacific, a region of high growth.”

This is the second FTA that Costa Rica has in effect with an Asian country, in May 2011 the FTA with China went into effect.

The Costa Rican Ministry of Foreign Trade (Comex) stressed that Singapore has one of the highest gross domestic product (GDP) per capita in the world and high levels of consumption that make a country highly dependent on imports of products.

Today, Costa Rica exports more than 70 products to Singapore and the Government hoped that the FTA will increase the Costa Rican exports.

In Costa Rica FTA tariff exclusion achieved 100% of its products, of which 90% will have immediate income and the rest with the elimination of tariffs of between 5 and 10 years.

In contrast, 79% of Singaporeans products may enter Costa Rica duty-free immediately, while the remaining 21% was with relief within 10 years.

Comex data show that in 2000, trade between the two countries totaled $ 50.6 million and for 2011 stood at $ 69.7 million.

The Costa Rica News (TCRN)
San Jose Costa Rica