Colombia trade treaty moves forward

A legislative committee Wednesday reported out favorably a trade treaty with Colombia.

The action quickly was called an important step for Costa Rica to reach the emerging markets of South America.  That was the opinion of  Anabel González, minister of Comercio Exterior, and  Oscar Alfaro Zamora, chairman of the committee,  the  Comisión Permanente Especial de Relaciones Internacionales y Comercio Exterior.

Not everyone is thrilled. Various sectors of the Costa Rican economy are worried that Colombia will take their markets.

The commerce ministry said that under the agreement, these Costa Rican products will enter Colombia without duty:

Ornamental plants, fruits, tea, oil seeds, spices, frozen bread, certain banana and rice products, olive oil, palm heart products, medical devices and bus tires.

Colombia has a population of 46 million, 10 times that of Costa Rica. The individual buying power of $8,000 a year is 2.8 times that of individuals in Central America, said the ministry.

The treaty still needs approval from the full legislature where there are those who oppose the agreement.

Alfaro, in a news release,  said the committee studied the pros and cons in detail.

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