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 COSTARICANEWS | Monday 30 August 2010

Canada and Costa Rica To Strengthen Free Trade Agreement

Canada's Minister of International Trade,  Peter Van Loan, announced yesterday that Canada and Costa Rica have agreed to work toward modernizing the existing bilateral free trade agreement.

The minister made the announcement following his meeting with the Costa Rican Foreign Trade Minister, Anabel Gonzalez.

“Our government’s aggressive free trade agenda is creating opportunities for Canadian businesses and workers and is securing future prosperity for Canadians and our trading partners in the hemisphere,” said Minister Van Loan. “Costa Rica is our largest trading partner in the region, and updating our free trade agreement is the logical next step in our growing commercial relationship.”

Canada and Costa Rica have enjoyed excellent bilateral relations, enhanced by the entry into force of the Canada-Costa Rica Free Trade Agreement in 2002, an agreement that focuses mainly on trade in goods and excludes substantive provisions in areas such as cross-border trade in services, government procurement, financial services and investment.

An updated free trade agreement could lower tariffs on goods and remove trade barriers in a broad range of sectors, creating new opportunities for the Canadian construction, manufacturing and agricultural industries. It could also expand market access for cross-border trade in services, financial services, electronic commerce, telecommunications and investment, as well as secure access to the government procurement market.

Two-way trade between Canada and Costa Rica totalled CAD$441.8 million in 2009. In the same year, Canadian exports consisted mainly of preserved foods, machinery, and paper and paperboard.



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