A recent study recommends that Costa Rica and China negotiate a free-trade agreement “as soon as possible,” according to the Foreign Trade Ministry (COMEX).
The study, which analyzed the feasibility of a trade agreement between both countries, was issued after the third meeting of the Costa Rica-China Joint Working Group on July 7 and 8 in the Central Pacific port city of Puntarenas.
The working group concluded that the Costa Rican and Chinese economies complement each other in many important ways, and that a trade agreement would foster economic growth and create jobs benefiting both countries, which have populations needing employment.
The study found that a trade agreement could increase bilateral trade between both countries by approximately 10 percent over their 2007 levels.
Costa Rican exports to China from April 2007 to May totaled $846 million, making it the second largest market for the country’s exports after the United States.
However, the vast majority (upward of 90 percent) of these exports are components of integrated electronic circuits produced by a single company, computer chip manufacturing giant Intel’s Costa Rican operations, according to COMEX.
Costa Rica maintains a large trade surplus with China, which is also the second largest source of Costa Rican imports after the United States. Imports from the Asian giant totaled $763.2 million in 2007, according to COMEX.
To maximize trade opportunities, the study recommended that the agreement should cover all the major trade disciplines, including tariff reductions, services, nontariff barriers, technical barriers to trade, sanitary and trade facilitation.