LatinNews Daily - 02 March 2023

In brief: Costa Rica and Ecuador ink trade association agreement

* Costa Rica’s government led by President Rodrigo Chaves has signed a trade association agreement with its Ecuadorean counterpart led by President Guillermo Lasso. The two presidents attended the signing ceremony in Costa Rica’s capital, San José, along with Costa Rica’s foreign trade minister, Manuel Tovar, and Ecuador’s minister for production, foreign trade, investment & fishing, Julio José Prado. The signing of the agreement followed a fourth round of talks which took place in December 2022. The new agreement will lift tariffs on exports from both countries and seeks to consolidate and improve access for current and potential exports and permit the two sides to create a stable legal framework to continue promoting and developing investment and strategic alliances. A Costa Rican presidential press release issued in December noted that the new agreement will, for the first time, include dispositions related to gender equity, good regulatory practice, and the strengthening of small and medium-size businesses. According to a tweet by Ecuador’s communications secretary for the presidency, tariff benefits will apply to 96% of products. The negotiations are in line with Chaves’s push for Costa Rica to boost trade as part of more general efforts to drive economic growth. He also wants Costa Rica to join both the Pacific Alliance trade bloc (comprising Chile, Mexico, Colombia, and Peru) and the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), which launched in March 2018.

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