Costa Rica’s first ambassador to China, Antonio Burgués, presented his credentials to Chinese President Hu Jintao Monday during celebrations of the 58th anniversary of the People’s Republic of China.
Burgués expressed excitement over his new post, and Hu said he’s just as eager to see bilateral collaboration between the two countries. Burgués will preside over Costa Rica’s first embassy in China; the two countries established diplomatic relations in June (TT, June 8).
Hu offered his assistance with anything needed to prepare for the visit of President Oscar Arias to China Oct. 22.
During Arias’ visit, he’s scheduled to sign eight agreements on a viability study for an eventual free-trade agreement, investment, development of commercial zones and other matters.
China hopes Costa Rica will serve as an entryway into Central America. Many countries in the region maintain diplomatic ties with Taiwan; Costa Rica broke ties with this country when it partnered with China in June.
Costa Rica seeks to export high-quality coffee, banana, processed food products and ornamental plants to China.
“With 17 investment agreements with various countries and about 20 free-trade agreements, Costa Rica offers optimal conditions to become a base for trade operations for China in Central America,” said Costa Rican Foreign Trade Minister Marco Ruiz.
In 2006, Costa Rica exported $1 billion worth of goods to China and imported $618 million from that country.