February 7th, 2014 (InsideCostaRica.com) President Laura Chinchilla will be in Cartagena, Colombia on Monday for the VIII Summit of the Heads of State of the Pacific Alliance, where she will sign a roadmap that will define the process for Costa Rica’s full membership to the regional trade bloc, which currently consists of its four founding members Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru.
Costa Rica will become the first country after the Alliance’s founding members to begin the process of integration into the bloc.
“This is an achievement of our trade and foreign policy,” Chinchilla said. “Our administration has placed particular emphasis on modernization, trade facilitation and promotion.”
Costa Rica’s trade with Alliance countries has more than tripled since 2002, growing from $775 million that year to more than $2.2 billion in 2012.
Costa Rica’s effort to become a full member of the Alliance began more than two years ago. The country was admitted as an observer in March 2012.
Costa Rica’s Minister of Foreign Trade and the Foreign Minister will accompany Chinchilla on the trip.
The Pacific Alliance is a Latin American trade bloc whose goals include free trade and economic integration amongst member states, as well as visa-free travel, a common stock exchange and common diplomatic representation.