China, Costa Rica sign FTA

Agence France Presse | Apr 8, 2010

China, Costa Rica sign FTA

BEIJING — CHINA said on Thursday it had signed a free trade agreement with Costa Rica, paving the way to lift almost all tariffs on Chinese textiles, chemicals and machinery to the Central American nation.

The pact signed in Beijing will remove most duties on Costa Rican coffee, meat, juice and other produce to China, the commerce ministry said on its website.

’The free trade agreement will allow consumers in both countries to enjoy more favorable prices for goods,’ the statement said.

China is Costa Rica’s second biggest commercial partner after the United States, while Costa Rica is the Asian nation’s ninth largest trade partner in Latin America, the official Xinhua news agency said. The agreement was reached in February after six rounds of negotiations.

China began free trade talks in earnest with Costa Rica in 2007 after it became the first nation in Central America to recognise Beijing, ending its decades-old relationship with Taiwan, which China sees as part of its territory awaiting reunification.

China, along with other major Asian economies such as Japan and South Korea, has been seeking free trade deals amid a long deadlock in the Doha round of global trade liberalisation talks.

A free trade agreement took effect on Jan 1 between China and the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations. In Latin America, China has trade pacts with resource-rich Chile and Peru.

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source: AFP