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Costa Rican president endorses FTA with China

06-14-2011 11:10 BJT

SAN JOSE, June 13 (Xinhua) -- Costa Rican President Laura Chinchilla here on Monday endorsed the free trade agreement (FTA) between Costa Rica China after signing on the document.

The FTA was approved by the Costa Rican parliament on May 31 and Chinchilla's approval was the last step required by Costa Rican law for the agreement to take effect.

Under the agreement, over 90 percent of products from both sides will be exempted from taxes step by step.

The signing ceremony took place with the presence of China's Vice Minister for the General Administration of Quality, Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine Wei Chuanzhong, China's Ambassador to Costa Rica Li Changhua, and Costa Rica's Foreign Trade Minister Anabel Gonzalez.

During the ceremony, Chinchilla said it is important that Costa Rica strengthens its relations with China.

"Considering that the global reality involves constant changes and that we cannot be behind, Costa Rica is convinced that we can achieve growth that end in development and improvement of the quality of life for all Costa Ricans," Chinchilla said.

Ambassador Li said the agreement will mark "a new milestone" in the relations between China and Costa Rica.

Noting the positive bilateral trade between both countries in recent years, Li said the economies of both countries are highly complementary and that the FTA is expected to bring many tangible benefits to the two peoples.

Minister Gonzalez said the FTA is important to Costa Rica as it will open up for more options to enter the Chinese market.

"To consolidate relations through a tool like this, with a country which is the second largest economy in the world, clearly represents a great opportunity to which we should make our best effort, and it's a great advantage ahead of many other countries that we cannot and should not waste," Gonzalez said.

Costa Rica is China's largest trading partner in Central America. According to official figures from China, bilateral trade between Costa Rica and China reached 3.79 billion U.S. dollars last year.

Editor:Wang Xiaomei |Source: Xinhua

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