Singapore and Costa Rica held the first round of negotiations for a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) from April 20 to 22, 2009 in Singapore.

This was launched earlier on the sidelines of the official visit to Singapore by Costa Rican President Oscar Arias Sanchez from 1 to 4 December 2008.

One of the things discussed during the negotiations was the setting up of a general framework to look at measures that will liberalize trade in goods and services as well as the investment regime.

Both are also looking into simplifying customs procedures. The negotiations also touched on cooperation in the protection of sanitary and phytosanitary measures and technical barriers to trade, along with other general provisions.

The two countries both believe that the FTA will lay a strong foundation for future cooperation in other areas of mutual interest. The FTA, when concluded, will strengthen the trade and investment relations between the two countries.

Negotiators from both sides expect to meet in the third quarter of this year for the next round of negotiations in Costa Rica.