(QCOSTARICA) Chinese entrepreneurs interested in setting up businesses in the country continue to wait for the approval of the Legislative Assembly of the agreement between Costa Rica and China for the Promotion and Protection of Investments (Acuerdo entre Costa Rica y China para la Promoción y Protección de las Inversiones).
The economic and commercial counselor of the Embassy of China in Costa Rica, Liu Xiaofeng, told La Nacion that the delay in approval generates distrust in Asian entrepreneurs interested in coming to the country.
“With this document, Chinese investors have strong confidence to invest their money here, set up factories and businesses,” said Liu.
“They (the investors) have their concerns,” said the counselor.
The agreement that establishes the legal framework for foreign investments, compensation for damages and loss, conflict resolution and dispute settlement between investors, was signed in October 2007 during the visit by then President Oscar Arias, to China, in a meeting wtih his counterpart at the time, Hu Jintao.
The legislative process has been slow, the agreement hitting the Legislative floor in November 2009, and obtaining first reading in January 2011, but nothing since.
Before his January visit to China by President Luis Guillermo Solis, the governmnet sought legislative approval of the agreement, but was unsuccessful.
However, that may soon change.
After almost seven years of legislative procedures, Legislators say they are now committed to the process.
The head of legislative faction of the Partido Acción Ciudadana (PAC), Marco Redondo, assures that the agreement will be a priority in the coming weeks.
The same priority was reiterated by the newly elected chairman of the Legislative Assembly, Rafael Ortiz, saying that the Chinese investment agreement is on a list of treaties requiring urgent adoption.
According to Liu, Chinese investment in Costa Rica up to 2014 was US$20 million dollars, while Costa Rican investment in China reached US$32 million dollars.