Luis Guillermo Solis (left) met on Wednesday, on his arrival in Holland, with the Prime Minister Mark Rutte. The focus of its agenda in that country is the development of the Costa Rican port industry and expand business opportunities for Costa Rican exporters. (Courtesy Casa Presidencial)

Q BUSINESS – Coinciding with the two day visit of Costa Rica President Luis Guillermo Solis in Holland this week, on Thursday the Promotora de Comercio Exterior de Costa Rica (Procomer) announced the opening of a trade office in Rotterdam, with the objective of expand business opportunities for Costa Rican exporters.

The aim is to use Procomer’s office in Rotterdam to place products with high added value in Dutch territory, mainly from the food and cosmetics industry, and enhance environmental services.

In a statement from Procomer, Foreign Trade Minister Alexander Mora explained that “… the commercial presence of Costa Rica in the Netherlands is essential to maintain and expand Costa Rican exports of goods and services. ‘As our main export destination in Europe, our gateway, Holland is a market of great interest which we must constantly analyze, so that the PROCOMER office in Rotterdam becomes a strategic partner for export companies in the country. In addition, this destination is a hub for distributing national products to the whole of the European Union’.”

During his visit that began on Wednesday, the focus of President Solis is to sign agreements to develop the Costa Rican port infrastructure.

Costa Rica already has an alliance with the Dutch port giant APM Terminals, which is building the Moin Container Terminal (CTM), a concession project in the province of Limon, involving an investment of US$1 billion dollars, that includes the construction of an artificial island of some 10 hectares.

The TCM was originally scheduled to start operations on January 18, 2018 but the Rotterdam headquartered company announced recently the start would be delayed for three months.

According to Casa Presidencial, the President’s agenda included Luis Guillermo Solís’ meetings with the presidents of the Congress and the Senate of the Netherlands, a meeting with Costa Rican students residing in the Netherlands and bilateral meetings with Dutch entrepreneurs and investors. Also, a keynote address by the president at the University of Amsterdam on climate change and inclusive development.

The Solis visit also included an audience with the king of the Netherlands, William Alexander of the Netherlands, 50, who took over in 2013, when his mother, Queen Beatrix, abdicated in his favor.

In 2016, Costa Rica exported US$556.5 million worth of goods to the Netherlands and 168 companies shipped 254 products, including pineapples with a 20.7% share, fruit juices and concentrates with 16.1%, bananas with 11.1%, needles and catheters with 9.7%, other medical devices with 5.7%, preserved tropical fruits with 5.1%, and serum infusion and transfusion equipment with 4.8%.

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