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FTA to bring more opportunities for Singapore, Costa Rica

Channel News Asia, Singapore

FTA to bring more opportunities for Singapore, Costa Rica

19 July 2013

SINGAPORE: The Singapore-Costa Rica Free Trade Agreement (SCRFTA) took effect on July 1.

To mark the significance of the agreement for both countries, a conference was held in San Jose on July 18 to discuss Singapore’s competitiveness, innovation and economic growth strategy. The conference also outlined what companies in both countries can expect with the SCRFTA in force.

Under the agreement, companies from both nations will gain greater access to each other’s markets.

The agreement will also strengthen trade links between Singapore and Costa Rica.

Singapore’s Minister for Trade and Industry, Lim Hng Kiang, said: "With the agreement now in force, it will open up more business and investment opportunities that Singapore and Costa Rica companies should take advantage of.

"Companies can also leverage on the strategic locations of both countries to reach out to the wider markets in Latin America and Asia."

Olam International and APL, a subsidiary of NOL, are two Singapore companies which already have a presence in Costa Rica.

Costa Rica was Singapore’s 7th largest Latin American trading partner in 2012, with bilateral trade reaching S$973 million, a 13.8 per cent increase from 2011.

The SCRFTA is Singapore’s third bilateral Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with Latin American countries, after Panama and Peru.

During his trip, Mr Lim also paid a courtesy call to Luis Liberman, Vice President of Costa Rica. He also met with a few ministers, which included the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Minister for Environment.