Opportunities in the Arab country have been announced for chutneys, organic coffee, pastries, organic tuna, dried fruits, plants, flowers and foliage.
The Foreign Trade Promotion Office (PROCOMER) has opened a trade promotion office in Qatar. Alvaro Stone, director of Exports at the office, informed Nacion.com that an official has been based in the premises of the Embassy of Costa Rica in that country since late last year.
The required health and phytosanitary protocols were signed in order to authorize the export of tuna, fresh pineapple and prawns.
From a statement issued by the Ministry of Foreign Trade:
San Jose, September 29, 2015. As part of the visit by Minister Zhi Shuping, maximum chief of the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine of the PRC (AQSIQ) required health and phytosanitary protocols were signed, authorizing the export of tuna and fresh pineapple from Costa Rica to China, and negotiations for the entry of Costa Rican shrimp to that market were concluded.
Grupo Calvo is preparing to start exporting to Russia in the first half of the year and plans to invest $3 million in improvements to its plants in El Salvador.
The tuna company is also aiming to increase its exports to England, Germany, Vietnam and Belgium. It also plans to diversify its offerings in the food sector, moving into production and marketing of spicy sauces and seasonings. It is expected that in April the new products will be available to consumers.
Canned tuna is preferred over presentations in glass or tetra pak containers, with increased demand reported in varieties of yellow and albacore tuna.
From a statement issued by the Costa Rican Foreign Trade Promotion Office (PROCOMER):
The consumption of canned tuna in the Middle East is concentrated in Kuwait, the UAE and Saudi Arabia, which depend entirely on imports, coming mainly from Thailand (86.4%), Italy (7.4%) and other Southeast Asian countries among these, the Philippines and Indonesia, with 6.6%.
Through a government decree commercial fishing for tuna and other species has been limited to two specific areas of the Pacific coast in Costa Rica.
The first area will extend up to 40 nautical miles (74 km) from the coast and the second will be located beyond 40 nautical miles, in which larger scale longliners can operate, and between the two there will be a buffer zone.
Sales of shrimp, shrimp larvae, fish meal and fish oil saw the largest growth out of total exports from the country in the first half of 2014.
Between January and June exports from fisheries and the aquaculture industry were those that showed the best performance, well above traditional goods such as watermelon and pineapple, whose foreign sales decreased by 4% and 24% respectively, compared with the same period in 2013.
The fishing industry is calling for an enlargement in the withdrawal from the coasts for tuna purse seine fishery and that licenses be given only to ships committed to selling 100% of their catch to the local industry.
In an opinion piece published in Nacion.com, Asdrubal Vasquez Nunez mentions the importance of the Costa Rican tuna industry to the economy and points to the need to reorganize legislation for the sector in order to increase the competitiveness and productivity of it.
The Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission has announced that the response to the request to increase the tonnage of fishing in the Eastern Pacific will be given in October.
Noting a lack of sufficient information and studies to determine more clearly the potential impact of increasing the quota, the Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission (IATTC) said it will postpone the decision until October.
With the delay in the entry into force of the AA, sugar producers in El Salvador will lose out on $2.5 million this year, from not exporting 10,000 tons to Europe.
"We could lose out on about $2.5 million, that's both producers and millers," said Julio Arroyo, CEO of the Sugar Association of El Salvador (AAES), adding that they still have the possibility to make the shipment and they have not looked for other recipients for the 10 thousand tons. "Before taking a decision we are waiting for the authorities to resolve this issue as soon as possible."