Ambassador Rodolfo Solano Quiros of Costa Rica in Seoul stated that Free Trade Agreement between Costa Rica and Korea will form a commercial bridge with great potential for both markets. Speaking at a New Year Interview with The Korea Post media, Ambassasdor Quiros said, “During 2017, Costa Rica will continue to promote its economic development and its network of global markets.” Excerpts from the interview follow:
Question: What are the major New Year development plans of your esteemed country in the New Year in economic and political fields in the 2017?
Answer: During 2017, the Republic of Costa Rica will continue to promote its economic development and its network of global markets. In this sense, and pertaining to the Republic of Korea and the future ratification of the Free Trade Agreement between the Republic of Korea and the Republic of Costa Rica as well as the other countries of Central America, Costa Rica sees this treaty as a commercial bridge with great potential for both markets. This new FTA will increase further commercial exchange in goods and services, explore larger markets for new products which will also allow for new ways for cooperation and investment. Korea offers Costa Rica a market of high acquisition power to which Costa Rica will be able to export industrial products such as medicines, chemical by-products, medical devices, agro industrial goods, as well as highly qualified agricultural products, produced with the highest standards of environmental practices and social labor regulations, such as organic gourmet coffee, cacao, bananas, pineapples, pork among others. Costa Rica, at the same time, offers a strategic geographical and highly politically stable partner where the installation of Korean capital is complemented by qualified human workforce and a fruitful network of Free Trade Agreements with around 52 other countries.
In the Political arena, Costa Rica will continue to advocate for the promotion of its long-standing State policies in both the bilateral and multilateral spheres, namely, the respect for democracy and human rights and the understanding of the underlying value of peace for regional stability, where our respective institutions can establish mutual strategies in order to guarantee the safeguard of these values and the continuance of these important pillars in the multilateral arena. The establishment of a new Comprehensive Cooperation Partnership between our two nations will allow for the further exploration of areas of mutual interest, with the common objective of collaborating more effectively and extensively. To this effect, a specific taskforce has been constituted to prioritize projects and guarantee a strategic planning of bilateral cooperation. The New Year will be pivotal in embracing the opportune momentum and gear our excellent relations towards building a Country Partnership Strategy and a new Triangular Cooperation Framework.
Q: Any promotional plans for further development of relations between Korea and your country, including the possible dispatch of an economic delegation to Korea?
A: As we commemorate in 2017 the 55th anniversary of our diplomatic relations with the Republic of Korea, we are confident that we have found in each other a rather unique friendship that will further strengthen our commercial and diplomatic ties. During 2017, the Government of the Republic of Korea will continue dispatching various delegations to Costa Rica and vice versa in an effort to collaborate more extensively in all fields. Costa Rica will be represented at the various conferences and trade fairs hosted by the Republic of Korea. The inauguration of the Costa Rican Trade Promotion Office at the premises of the Costa Rican Embassy in Seoul is another factor that will decidedly contribute to further identify Korean buyers for Costa Rican goods and services, coordinate trade missions, business agendas and participation in fairs, amongst others.
Q: In what areas are the areas of economy where Korean companies are welcome in your country? Do you have any specific Korean business organizations in mind favorably considered for economic cooperation with your country?
A: As a nation, the Republic of Costa Rica offers more than 4200 export items to more than 160 nations globally; roughly, only 18 % of these consist of agricultural products. Costa Rica has become a significant exporter of high technologies, where more than 51% of its exports consists of highly industrial products, such as medical devices and aero space industrial components, to name a few. With respect to Korea, the high technology sector proves to be an attractive market, as integrated circuits and all types of electronic components and devices have been identified as possible items of interest. On a larger scale, Costa Rica offers an opportunity for Korean Companies to invest in transport, security and communications infrastructure, where there is a clear need for improvement in Costa Rica. It is also important to mention that every year Costa Rica is host to the Business Trade Mission (BTM), where private enterprises from all over the globe partake in the event with the sole purpose of establishing future businesses in Costa Rica. Ten Korean companies were represented in the 2016 edition and we foresee an increment of this number for the year 2017.
Korean companies actively engaged in economic cooperation between the two countries include: SAE-A Spinning, Daewoo Bus, Ilshin Wells Co. Ltd., Donghae Steeltech Corporation, Sangil Overseas Trading Corporation, Inwoo Corporation, Samsah S.I., World Juice Inc., SungPoong Corporation and Cafe de Costa.