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UAE, Costa Rica agree terms on a comprehensive economic partnership agreement

Arab News | 11 January 2024

UAE, Costa Rica agree terms on a comprehensive economic partnership agreement

ABU DHABI: The UAE Minister of State for Foreign Trade Dr. Thani bin Ahmed Al-Zeyoudi and his Costa Rican counterpart Manuel Tovar have signed a joint statement confirming the conclusion of negotiations toward a comprehensive economic partnership agreement.

The UAE-Costa Rica CEPA is intended to eliminate or lower tariffs; reduce barriers to trade; promote private sector collaboration; and create pathways for investment, said a media statement on Thursday.

Bilateral non-oil trade between the two nations has been growing consistently year on year, climbing 23 percent in 2022 to reach $60.4 million, more than double the value recorded in 2018.

Al-Zeyoudi said: “Both nations see the immense benefits of open trade, and the opportunities for further economic collaboration in key sectors such as tourism, renewable energy, food security, ICT (information and communications technology), and manufacturing.

“We are both committed to developing resilient, future-proof and sustainable economies and this partnership will enable us to support each other’s efforts.”

Costa Rica’s economy has demonstrated resilience amid global challenges, growing by 4.7 percent in the first half of 2023, with services contributing 66.9 percent to the country’s gross domestic product.

It is also a regional leader in clean energy, with hydropower the dominant source of energy in the country, offering considerable scope for investment.

Tovar said: “It fills me with satisfaction and pride to have reached the closure of this negotiation. A CEPA with the UAE marks a milestone for Costa Rica as it is the first time that Costa Rica has signed an agreement with a Middle Eastern and Gulf country.

“I am certain that the future entry into force of the CEPA will consolidate the relationship between Costa Rica and the UAE, a long-standing partner and friend, as it will expand and diversify opportunities for our exportable supply, and for consumers and producers provide legal certainty for trade and investment activities and promote economic cooperation among our countries.”

The UAE launched its CEPA program in September 2021 and it has successfully concluded deals with India, Indonesia, Israel, Turkiye, South Korea, Cambodia, Colombia, Georgia, Mauritius, and the Republic of Congo. The first four agreements have already come into effect.

 source: Arab News