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    The Costa Rica News (TCRN) – A trade increase of 35 percent, attracting $4.7 million U.S. dollars in investment, and better insurance and telecommunications services have been the main benefits to Costa Rica with the Free Trade Agreement between Central America, the Dominican Republic and the U.S. (CAFTA-DR).

    This was explained by the World Bank Director for Central America, Felipe Jaramillo, who introduced the study, “CAFTA-DR five years after its entry in Costa Rica” and said that this country has taken advantage of the commercial instrument.

    “CAFTA-DR, as the treaty is known by its initials in English, has contributed to the growth of exports and legal reforms in a short period, encouraging higher levels of investment in high-value-added services,” said Jaramillo.

    He cited data from the Costa Rican Foreign Trade Ministry to show a growth of 35.35% for trade between Costa Rica and the United States.

    The CAFTA-DR in Costa Rica was approved by a referendum set in 2008, the first in the country’s history, and became effective on January 1, 2009.

    He noted that before opening up the telecommunications market in late 2011, Costa Rica was one of the last places in Latin America in cell penetration capabilities.

    Now however, official data shows that in 2010 mobile penetration in the country was 69% and in 2012 reached 116% and 5.5 million mobile lines.

    “The feeling is that CAFTA has been positive for Costa Rica. Increased trade flow has deepened diversification and sophistication of Costa Rican exports and telecommunications and insurance. With the agreement there is a greater variety of services, prices have not increased and companies have seen a major change in competitiveness,” said the representative.

    Jaramillo noted that the report is not a full assessment, so it will take a few years to realize its full magnitude. (EFE)

    The Costa Rica News (TCRN)

    San Jose Costa Rica

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