Lawmakers hear two in favor of pact with European Union

Lawmakers heard favorable comments Tuesday on the proposal to approve an agreement with the European Union.

The European Parliament this week approved the agreement with the Central American states. The treaty still is in the process of evaluation in the legislature here.

Appearing before legislative committee Tuesday were representatives of the industrial chamber and the Universidad de Costa Rica. Both supported the agreement.

Both Juan Ramón Rivera, president of the Cámara de Industrias de Costa Rica, and Henning Jensen Pennington, university rector, supported the agreement.

Ramón said that the European Union is the third biggest trading partner for the country with about $1.9 billion in exports in 2011 and that the majority of goods were industrial in nature. He cited electronics, chemicals, automobile parts and medical devices.

The university leader noted that the educational system in Costa Rica is based on the European model and that education would gain much from approval of the accord.

The agreement is in the Comisión Permanente Especial de Asuntos Internacionales y Comercio Exterior that will eventually give its opinion to the full legislature. Most lawmakers appear to favor the pact.

The European Parliament voted 557 to 100 with 21 abstentions to ratify the pact Tuesday.

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