Costa Rican exporters of foods mainly sell to Canada: sugar, fruit juices, purees and premix, various types of sauce, and powdered mixes.
MOPT estimates a one-way trip will take about 16 hours, compared to the current driving time of up to five days by road.
Panama's free trade zone -- the biggest in Latin America -- is in crisis in large part because of economic woes sapping major export customers Venezuela and Colombia, Commerce Minister Augusto Arosemena said Wednesday.
The total value of Costa Rican export goods fell by 15 percent last year, though most of that decline is attributed to the 2014 exit of chipmaker Intel.
The creations of Tico fashion designers could be the country's newest export product.