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Harper strengthens trade ties in Costa Rica

Globe and Mail, Toronto

Harper strengthens trade ties in Costa Rica

By Steven Chase, San José, Costa Rica— Globe and Mail Update

11 August 2011

Stephen Harper visits Costa Rica Thursday, strengthening ties with an old free trade partner on the third stop of his Latin American tour.

Canada’s free trade agreement with Costa Rica is in its ninth year.

Mr. Harper and Costa Rican president Laura Chinchilla will witness the signing of two treaties.

Canadian trade minister Ed Fast will sign an air transport agreement to further liberalize air service between Canada and Costa Rica.

Canada’s foreign minister John Baird will sign a deal that would see Canadian and Costa Rican authorities share information on tax matters.

Mr. Harper will attend a roundtable with Canadian business in San José, visit a local police academy and later visit a nearby ice hockey program with Canadian ties.

He flies to Honduras Friday for the final stop on a four-country tour that also included Brazil and Colombia.

Over 110,000 Canadians visit Costa Rica annually and an estimated 10,000 reside in the Central American country.