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Canada and Costa Rica Conclude Fourth Round of Talks to Expand Trade Agreement

Deeper ties will create jobs, growth and long-term prosperity for hard-working Canadians and Costa Ricans alike, says International Trade Minister Ed Fast

June 15, 2012 - The Honourable Ed Fast, Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway, today announced the successful conclusion of a fourth round of negotiations to modernize the Canada-Costa Rica Free Trade Agreement. Negotiations took place in San José, Costa Rica, from June 11 to 15, 2012.

“To create new opportunities for Canadian workers, businesses and investors, we are working closely with our Costa Rican partners to modernize our agreement, by removing more barriers to trade,” said Minister Fast. “Our efforts to modernize previously existing trade agreements are further proof that our government is a driving force for global and regional trade liberalization and that we set a high standard of ambition in trade negotiations.”

The original Canada-Costa Rica Free Trade Agreement entered into force in 2002 but did not include provisions in such areas as cross-border trade in services, financial services, investment and government procurement. An expanded agreement would bring it into line with the level of ambition the Harper government pursues in its trade negotiations. An expanded agreement will create new opportunities for Canadian businesses and provide them with a competitive edge in many sectors, including construction, manufacturing, financial services and telecommunications. 

“Deepening Canada’s trade and investment in the Americas is a priority for our government,” said Minister Fast. “We have concluded agreements with the United States, Mexico, Peru, Colombia and Panama, and most recently with Honduras. To help us create jobs, growth and long-term prosperity for hard-working Canadians and our trading partners, we’ll continue to build on this success with Costa Rica and with high-growth markets throughout the hemisphere.”

“Our neighbours in the Americas are a priority for Canada, and we are carving out free trade partnerships in the region,” said the Honourable Diane Ablonczy, Minister of State of Foreign Affairs (Americas and Consular Affairs). “Our objective is to promote trade and investment with growing and dynamic economies in the region and to create new opportunities and jobs for our partners and for Canadians.”

Since 2006, Canada’s two-way merchandise trade with Central America (excluding Mexico) has risen by 16.7 percent. Costa Rica accounted for 11.8 percent of Canada’s two-way merchandise trade with Central America in 2011.

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For further information, media representatives may contact:

Rudy Husny
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Ed Fast
Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway

Trade Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada
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