October 18th, 2012 – The 3rd round of negotiations surrounding the possible free trade agreement between Costa Rica and Colombia will begin in Cali, Colombia, on Monday. Anabel Gonzalez, Foreign Trade minister, said that this round of negotiations would focus on determining which of each nation’s products would be included in the agreement.
“In order to prepare for this 3rd round, we have had a series of meetings with companies and organizations. The main result from these, on one hand, has been to continue to identify products of interest in Colombia, and on the other hand, to separate (from the agreement) those products that are ‘sensitive’, “ the minister said.
This 3rd round of negotiations is to last 4 days.
This phase of negotiations is of particular interest to Costa Rica’s industrial sector, represented by the Costa Rican Industry Chamber, Costa Rican Food Industry Chamber, and the Costa Rican Import Chamber (CRECEX), among others. The chambers have asked Costa Rica negotiators to be cautious, and have provided a long list of “sensitive” products, which they want left out of the agreement. Some of the products that these representatives are asking to be excluded are pork, chicken, aluminum tubes, corrugated paper, washbasins, and toilets.
Assuming a successful outcome, the 4th round of negotiations will be set for December.