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China-Costa Rica FTA negotiations expected to be completed within a year
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15:25, June 18, 2009

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The third round of negotiations for the free trade agreement (FTA) between China and Costa Rica started on June 15 in San José, Costa Rica's capital. If the FTA negotiations progress smoothly, they are expected to be completed within a year said Zhu Hong, head of the Chinese negotiation delegation and deputy director-general of the Department of International Trade and Economic Affairs for the Ministry of Commerce of China (MOFCOM).

During the three-day negotiations, both sides will conduct group discussions on subjects such as market access for goods, rules of origin and sanitary conditions for export and import.

Zhu noted that with the FTA negotiations having a friendly tone, China and Costa Rica both hope to narrow their differences through negotiations on an equal footing, and find common ground. He added that the Chinese and Costa Rican economies are mutually complementary, which is the premise for signing this FTA.

At present, Costa Rica has agreed to open its domestic market to 70 percent of Chinese goods, and China has promised to open its market to 94 percent of Costa Rican goods. Zhu suggested that Costa Rica adjust its position to offer access to more Chinese goods.

The Costa Rican side noted that Costa Rica hopes to establish a special protection mechanism and take measures such as raising tariffs in the event of an influx of imported products.

In recent years, bilateral trade between China and Costa Rica has shown a trend of rapid growth. China is Costa Rica's second largest trading partner and Costa Rica is China's second largest trading partner in Central America. The first and second rounds of China-Costa Rica FTA negotiations were held in San José and Shanghai, respectively.

By People's Daily Online



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