The negotiation of the Free Trade Agreement between Costa Rica and China has raised alarm and protests from the Chamber of Industries and the Chamber of Food Industry, who request a 100% tax relief for central american trade in order to be competitive.
Currently 4% of the products that can be exported to the region, mainly sugar, dairy, beef and chicken have taxes that protect domestic production.
In relation to this, Amparo Pacheco, Foreign Commerce vice minister, indicated that "Costa Rica cannot advance at the same pace as Central America, we have our own target, and the China situation is the most obvious, because we are the only ones that have diplomatic relations".
The country would request excluding products from the Free Trade Agreement only in very justifiable cases.
Local industrialists requested to exclude products which already have no tariff and are not produced in the country. In response, Commerce Minister Marco Vinicio Ruiz argued that it's very complicated to explain the Chinese as to why such exclusions.
Costa Rican businesses demand that regional common market be strengthened.
The business owners claim that join together 11 treaties is worthless unless their is a common market to ease the trade of products in the region and with harmonious tariffs, not to mention other needs.
Denouncing sanitary risks and a lack of quality control in Chinese production, they are asking for the adoption of a Partial Agreement Accord and not a FTA.
Executives from diverse business chambers exchanged strong words in the discussion on this issue. In a press conference where the presidents of various industry chambers were present, including from the Cámara de Industrias de Costa Rica (CICR), Cámara Costarricense de la Industria Alimentaria (CACIA), Asociación Costarricense de la Industria Plástica, Asociación de la Metalurgia, and Asociación de la Industria Gráfica, “they denounced that the Department of Foreign Trade (Comex) did not address their requests or concerns despite that they have made their concerns known on various occasions."
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