Trade deal with four European countries begins

Wednesday marked the first steps in activating the free trade agreement between the European Free Trade Association, Panama, and Costa Rica as Norway officially became the first country activated in the trade agreement.

“This free trade agreement consolidates access of our exports to the European market and opens up new opportunities for our production industries,” said the minister of Comercio Exterior, Alexander Mora. “This also provides a valuable tool for promoting the attraction of foreign direct investment.”

Switzerland, Iceland, and Liechtenstein make up the remaining three-quarters of the European association. Both Switzerland and Iceland’s contracts begin on Aug. 29, while Liechtenstein will officially begin on Sept. 5.

According to the trade agreement, 98.7 percent of Costa Rican exports directed to these countries will be free of import duties. Businesses with key products like bananas, fresh fruit, flowers, coffee, and industrial products should benefit from this access.

On the other end, 93.3 percent of the exports from the European countries into Costa Rica will not be subjected to duties.

This agreement was signed in Trondheim, Norway, June 24, 2013.

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