According to official sources, Costa Rica seeks to expand its markets in Europe and Asia to prevent a possible reduction of exports to the United States, its main trading partner, as a result of protectionist policies by President Donald Trump.
Senior government officials and business representatives met this week to discuss options for the country if protectionist policies of the new government in Washington reach Costa Rica.
The meetings were attended by some 20 officials, including government ministers and the US ambassador, Roman Macaya, and the representative to the World Trade Organization (WTO), Alvaro Cedeño.
United States is our most important trading partner and will remain so for a while, but we have also come up with an active policy of diversification of both markets and products,
explained Minister of Foreign Trade, Alexander Mora .
The minister believes it is unlikely that Trump’s government is interested in modifying the Free Trade Agreement with Central America, contrary to what has already been announced regarding the AFTA, the treaty that the United States has With Mexico and Canada.
According to Mora, although there is no alarm, it’s important to use business opportunities that have opened up with countries like Belgium and Luxembourg, as well as countries in the Middle East, such as China, Kazakhstan, South Korea and Japan.
Costa Rica has signed 14 free trade agreements with countries and regions, including China and the European Union and it’s currently negotiating a similar instrument with South Korea, along with other Central American countries.
Costa Rica exported $ 3,887 billion in goods to the US in 2015, representing 40.2% of the 9,649 million sold abroad that year.
In the same period, the Central American country imported $ 6.164 billion in goods from the United States.