PanAm Post | February 7, 2014
Pacific Alliance to eliminate tariffs with new free trade agreement
Costa Rica eager to join and enjoy fruits of regional organization
Between February 8-10, the Pacific Alliance will hold its eighth summit in Cartagena, Colombia. During the event, the presidents of Chile, Colombia, Peru, and Mexico will sign a free trade agreement to eliminate tariffs on 92 percent of trade goods between the countries. The notable exclusion is agriculture.
The agreement includes the elimination of internal visas, labor mobility, and joint promotion of investment and tourism abroad. However, the portion of the agreement most favored by member countries stems from the ability to expand the definition of goods by national origin. A country’s goods will be able to be processed in other countries and still be labelled as domestic products.
Costa Rica is also set to join the initiative. On Monday, President Laura Chinchilla will sign her country’s road map in Cartagena to join the Pacific Alliance. The free trade agreement will add to Costa Rica’s current trade agreements with Pacific Alliance member countries, and to the bilateral agreement with Colombia that has yet to receive legislative approval.
According to official figures, trade between Costa Rica and members of the Pacific Alliance grew from US$775 million in 2002 to over US$2 billion in 2012.