UAE launches preliminary CEPA negotiations with Costa Rica

By Shilpa Annie Joseph, Official Reporter
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UAE-Costa Rica launch preliminary CEPA
Officials during the signing ceremony.

UAE Minister of State for Foreign Trade, Dr. Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi and Minister of Foreign Trade of the Republic of Costa Rica, Mr. Manuel Tovar Rivera have signed a joint statement marking the launch of preliminary talks to establish a comprehensive economic partnership agreement (CEPA) between the two countries.

The signing took place during the visit of a high-level Costa Rican delegation to the Ministry of Economy’s headquarters in Dubai.

The comprehensive economic partnerships program was launched by the UAE government in September 2021 to expand the trade and investment partnership with a number of strategic global markets, increase the size of trade exchanges, and enhance growth opportunities for national exports.

Dr. Thani bin Ahamed Al-Zeyoudi
Dr. Thani bin Ahamed Al-Zeyoudi
UAE Minister of State for Foreign Trade

“Today, through the launch of preliminary CEPA negotiations, we have laid the foundations for building a significant and influential platform to future-proof UAE-Costa Rica economic and trade relations. This agreement will contribute to establishing a new era of investment and trade in various fields, thereby supporting the sustainable economic development of both our nations and benefitting regional and global economies. Costa Rica is a key strategic partner of the UAE in the Central American region. The launch of preliminary CEPA negotiations reflects the two governments’ shared aspirations to promote bilateral economic relations, boost investment and trade exchanges, expedite the flow of goods, facilitate market access, and create new joint investments and projects in priority sectors.”

Dr. Al Zeyoudi further said that the UAE will continue its efforts to build partnerships with strategic global markets under the country’s comprehensive economic partnerships program. This is in line with the ‘We the UAE vision 2031’ that aims to double the national economy.

For his part, Mr. Tovar Rivera stated that, “Costa Rica is also pursuing an ambitious agenda to expand and diversify our global trade and investment partnerships. The establishment of a CEPA with the UAE will be the beginning of a new era of mutually beneficial relations. This will be our first free trade agreement with a country in the Middle East and Costa Rica will continue to rise in prominence as a key Latin American partner to the UAE. The creation of new trade and investment opportunities will also bring economic and social benefits for the people of both countries.”

The trade and investment exchanges between the two countries continue to grow as the non-oil trade reached $58.7 million (AED 216 million) in 2022 with a 19 percent growth compared to that of 2021. The UAE’s investments in Costa Rica span sectors such as IT, tourism, retail, advertising, media, real estate, renewable energy, air transport, and logistics.

Related: UAE-Georgia Business Forum to promote trade & investment ahead of CEPA