QCOSTARICA – Within the framework of President Rodrigo Chaves’ tour in Europe; The Costa Rican Foreign Trade Promoter (PROCOMER) organized a business meeting in the Netherlands (Países Bajos in Spanish) with the aim of strengthening trade relations, attracting investment and maintaining the volume of Costa Rican exports to this destination.
The meeting was attended by Chaves; the Minister of Foreign Trade and President of the PROCOMER Board of Directors, Manuel Tovar; the director of the PROCOMER Office in the Netherlands, Alexander Román; and more than 40 companies including buyers of national goods, investors, airlines, innovation centers, research and development centers, universities, accelerators, logistics service providers, and the ports of Rotterdam and Antwerp-Bruges.
During his speech, President Chaves highlighted Costa Rica as a strategic country for the Netherlands on issues such as investment, technology and innovation, due to human talent in various sectors. In addition, he emphasized that, although the country is a pioneer in the export of agricultural products such as pineapples, bananas, cassava (yuca) and coffee, it also stands out for medical devices, currently Costa Rica’s main export product.
Read more: Medical devices, pineapples, and bananas were the most exported products from Costa Rica in 2022
“We could continue citing figures about the great commercial relationship that unites us, but beyond the numbers, there are the people to whom the growth of our economies and our companies will give them more and better jobs, will give them more opportunities for personal fulfillment and professional, will allow them to dream of a better future. That is why I firmly believe that, in these times of change, when technological progress and climate change impose new challenges and needs, the public and private sectors must join forces to achieve the shared prosperity that we all seek,” said President Chaves.
For his part, Minister Tovar added that Costa Rica and the Netherlands have characteristics in common such as sustainability, and openness to trade, they are food producers and have a strategic geographical position in their regions; Far from making them competitors, it complements them and makes them allies.
“The Netherlands is Costa Rica’s main trading partner in the European Union with 43% of the total exported to this region. Our varied and differentiated offer allows us to provide quality goods in sectors such as precision and medical equipment, and agriculture; while the Netherlands complements us with other goods from the chemical, electrical and electronic sector, among others. For these reasons, it is vital to strengthen ties and foster a closer commercial relationship, which allows us to increase trade flows and knowledge transfer in both ways,” Tovar said.
At the meeting, the Costa Rican authorities addressed strategic issues for the country such as investment opportunities and widely highlighted the benefits of the supply of goods and services in all sectors, with the aim of strengthening exports to the Dutch market. In addition, the Costa Rican delegation promoted the country as a strategic partner with attributes highly appreciated by consumers around the world, such as sustainability, talent, education, peace, democracy, health, and legal certainty.
Trade with the Netherlands
In 2022*, Costa Rica exported to the Netherlands goods from the sectors of precision and medical equipment (51%), food industry (22%), fruits, vegetables, legumes and roots (20.8%), plants, flowers and foliage (3%) and chemical industry (1.4%).
While the country imported from the Netherlands electrical and electronic products (19%), chemicals (18.7%), food industry (18.4%), precision and medical equipment (10.9%) and plants, flowers, and foliages (10.1%).
The Netherlands is Costa Rica’s main trading partner in the European Union, followed by Belgium (28%) and Spain (7%). In addition, according to Trademap, in 2021, Costa Rica represented the 33rd trading partner for the Netherlands and was the main Central American partner.
*The data for 2022 exclude the months of April, May and June due to the hacking of the Ministry of Finance systems.