National legislator approved, in second reading, the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between South Korea and Central America, processed through bill number 20,813.
The FTA had been signed in Seoul on February 21st and the procedure in the first debate had been carried out on January 15th in the Plenary. This time, it had the backing of 42 legislators and only José María Villalta from Frente Amplio voted against it.
The Costa Rican products that will enjoy tariff elimination are coffee, palm oil, raw sugar and non-alcoholic beverages.
As for the industrial products that enter this free trade are medicines, plastic, iron and glass manufactures; as well as prosthetic devices.
It also agreed to the gradual elimination of the tariff in the Korean market for Costa Rican exports of tilapia, frozen beef, frozen pork, ornamentals, bananas, pineapples, pepper, cornmeal, canned tuna, raw organic sugar, chocolates, pasta, bakery items, rum, alcohol, some animal feeds and electronic components of televisions.
In counterpart, the products brought from that Asian country that will enjoy this benefit are: nuts, spices, aloe-based beverages, buses, trucks and heavy machinery, air conditioners, washing machines, vacuum cleaners, cell phones, medicines and cosmetics.
The project indicates that products such as raw and refined sugar, rice, dairy products, some vegetables, certain types of tires, some iron and steel manufactures and some plastic products were excluded from the Costa Rican tariff reduction program.
Wálter Muñoz, congressman from the National Integration Party (PIN) deemed of the utmost importance to sign this treaty, taking into account that Korea has one of the best economies in the world and has solved the problem of unemployment. It is also fundamental because of its geographical location.
Welmer Ramos also pointed out that Costa Rica opens a space for the growth of cultural exchange at the tourism level and other service activities.
Trade between Costa Rica and Korea has grown by 42.7% during the last decade.