Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Costa Rica, China begin free trade talks

(Photo: Eddy Rojas/La Nacion)(Xinhua) - Costa Rica and China began on Monday the first round of negotiations for the Free Trade Agreement (FTA), said the Costa Rican Foreign Ministry.

The two sides expect to set the "roadmap" for the free trade talks in the first round of negotiations, including the layout for the agreement and steps to be taken for its realization.

A total of six rounds of talks will be held on the agreement, and Costa Rica hopes all the negotiations will wrap up by May 2010,said Marco Vinicio Ruiz, Costa Rican Trade Minister.

China and Costa Rica agreed to launch talks for a free trade agreement during Chinese President Hu Jintao's visit to the Central American country in November 2008.

China is Costa Rica's second largest trading partner, and Costa Rica China's second biggest in Central America. Their two-way trade is growing rapidly, with the volume hitting $2.87 billion in 2007.

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