Ecuador and Costa Rica ratify bilateral trade agreement

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By LatAm Reports Staff Writers

Ecuador and Costa Rica celebrated on Wednesday the ratification of a trade association agreement that will boost investments and generate thousands of jobs.

In the presence of Ecuador’s ambassador to Costa Rica, Bolivar Torres Cevallos, the country’s President, Rodrigo Chaves Robles, signed the law ratifying the Trade Association Agreement with Ecuador, approved unanimously at the Costa Rican assembly, said the Foreign Ministry of Quito disseminated on the social network X.

The agreement will free up about 88 percent of agricultural trade and more than 80 percent of Costa Rica’s exchange of industrial goods to Ecuador, Costa Rican Foreign Minister Manuel Tovar explained at President Rodrigo Chaves’ usual Wednesday conference.

Meanwhile, 84 per cent of the products exported to that country will be tariff-free, while others will have gradual allowances between 5 and 15 years of age.

With the entry into force we hope to be able to multiply the numbers, stimulate the arrival of investment, the generation of employment, increase production (…) is a first generation agreement where we have included for the first time a chapter in gender and SMEs in order to support these sectors in their insertion into international markets, we hope to put it into effect almost almost already,” Tovar said.

The chancellor stressed that it is the first bilateral trade agreement signed during the current government.

To conclude this agreement, signed in 2023, four rounds of negotiations were previously held between August and December 2022.

In that year, bilateral trade reached about $110 million.

According to the authorities, Costa Rica will be able to export to Ecuador roasted or ground coffee, food pasta, fruit juices, hair preparations and steel rods without paying tariffs, while the South American country will be able to sell products for metalworking, textiles, construction and food industries.

Ambassador Torres highlighted the potential of both markets and thanked President Chaves for the negotiations.

“It is honorable to convey President Daniel Noboa’s gratitude for this important step in the process of strengthening the historic ties of neighbourliness, friendship and cooperation that have united the two countries for almost two centuries,” Torres said.

On May 1, the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between Ecuador and China entered into force and the Noboa government is currently seeking a similar agreement with Canada, in the process of negotiation.

This Andean country also provides for the final signing of the Strategic Economic Cooperation Agreement (SECA) with South Korea, and the commencement of negotiations with the Dominican Republic and the United Arab Emirates.

This article has been translated after first appearing in El Pais