Legislators on Monday approved in first debate the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with Colombia.
The FTA opens immediately 70.6% of Costa Rican markets free of tariffs for Colombian products. 4% of the Colombian products in entering Costa Rica will be free of tariffs in five years, while 16.5% of will free up in 10 years and (4.8%) in 15 years.
The implementation of the FTA and the acceptance of Costa Rica into the Pacific Alliance bloc would mean the end of visas for Colombians wanting to come to Costa Rica
[/one_third]Costa Rica exporters will have immediate access to 69% of the Colombian market, 0.3% in 3 years, 15.5% in 5 years and 10% in 10 years.
According to the Ministry of Foreign Trade (Comex), Colombians will be able to import into Costa Rica duty free products such as, cocoa beans, refined salt, medicines, raw materials for the plastics industry, paper and textiles and chipboard doors.
Costa Rica can export to the Colombian markets, duty free, such products as spirits, puree, banana essense, leaves, medical devices, drugs, raw lead and tires for buses, among other products.
Both countries have quotas on the import/export of ethanol, fish food and PVC compounds.
The implementation of the FTA with Colombia is a requirement for Costa Rica’s entry to the Pacific Alliance, a trade bloc made up of Peru, Mexico, Chile and Colombia. Costa Rica would become the fifth full member of the group.
For the FTA to take effect, it will require approval of second reading,which barring any last minute objections, should be a rubber stamp. The agreement will then require ratification by Presidenta Laura Chinchilla.
Source: El Financiero