Free Trade Agreements Costa Rica

United States – The agreement between the United States and Costa Rica was one of Costa Rica`s most discussed free trade agreements. Total merchandise trade between Costa Rica and the United States has increased since the FTT came into effect in 2019, with an average annual rate of 4.3%. Costa Rican exports grew at an annual rate of 5.2%, from 2.9 billion $US in 2009 to 4.2 billion $US in 2016. Over the same period, imports from the United States increased from $4.7 billion to $6.1 billion. The United States, a target for Costa Rican exports, increased from 34% of Costa Rica`s overseas sales in 2009 to 40% in 2016. Costa Rican foreign trade is based on four pillars: the multilateral trading system as an active member of the World Trade Organization (WTO), the Central American Economic Integration System (SIECA), bilateral free trade agreements and bilateral investment agreements. Among these platforms, a small country like Costa Rica has managed to become an active member of the global economy. Thirty years ago, Costa Rica`s trade policy underwent a significant change by adopting an export-based system as a new model of development. The diversification of export supply, the opening of new markets and the attraction of foreign direct investment have advanced the pace of its development model.

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Author: Franck Pertegas

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