Costa Rica: Food Industry Rejects Peru FTA

Lack of results in eliminating unnecessary requirements and no progress on liberalization of raw materials are casting doubts on businessmen.

Thursday, November 25, 2010


In a letter sent to the Minister of Foreign Trade, Anabel Gonzalez, the Board of the Costa Rican Food Industry (CACIA) ratified its opposition to further opening the domestic market to imports from Peru, due to the lack of concrete results in the competitiveness agenda.

Marco Cercone, President of CACIA, says problems regarding food records still remain, since the alleged improvements to what they have created has decreased the efficiency of a process that has no purpose and that generates an absurd expense for the employer.

Cercone has already submitted two documents to address these issues, repeatedly requesting a meeting simultaneously with the Ministers of Agriculture, Economy, Foreign Trade and Health, to generate solutions which could be relatively simple, if there is political will.

Another problem that has no concrete solutions is the issue related to competitiveness in energy prices and the uncertainty of future supply, especially in key inputs such as liquefied petroleum gas.

Another concern is that despite efforts to advance in regional economic integration (the main market of the food industry), to this day, nothing has materialized in key issues for the sector. Example is the lack of concrete achievements related to the list of items not produced in the region and which are subject to tariffs.

"The Costa Rican government refuses to eliminate tariffs on food ingredients not produced in the region such as yoghurt and custard powder, which in other Central American countries have much lower tariffs. This is a clear sign which gives us reason to reject the liberalization of value-added products," said Cercone.

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In the Peruvian capital, the negotiating teams of both countries have concluded negotiations for a free trade agreement.

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Marco Meneses, President of the ICRC, stated the union´s position with respect to the round of FTA negotiations with the South American country, which are currently taking place in Panama, in a letter delivered to the Minister for Foreign Trade, Anabel Gonzalez, exhibited concern over the choice of partners enabling positive and mutually beneficial trading.

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