Signed at San José, Costa Rica, March 18, 1998
The Government of Canada and the Governments of Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua,
designated hereafter as "the Parties";
This Memorandum of Understanding on Trade and Investment will have the following objectives:
To enhance economic relations in the fields of trade and investment.
To strengthen their cooperation with a view to liberalizing trade and investment between the Parties, in accordance with the principles of the World Trade Organization and the process to establish the Free Trade Area of the Americas.
To maintain the operation of free market economies and highlight the importance of private sector initiatives as sources of prosperity, in order to promote economic development.
To strengthen and diversify cooperative actions between the Parties, as defined in Article II of this Memorandum of Understanding.
To promote a favourable environment and complementary activities to encourage private sector investment between the Parties.
To agree on formal mechanisms for the promotion and protection of investment.
Trade and Investment Cooperation
In order to support actions to encourage trade, the Parties will undertake, among others, initiatives such as the following:
Promotion of business meetings and other complementary activities that will expand trade and investment relations between the private sectors of our countries;
Encouragement and support for trade promotion activities, such as seminars, symposia, fairs and trade and industrial exhibitions, trade missions, site visits and marketing studies,
Exchange of information on regional and global trade in goods and services;
Development of training courses in trade-related areas, including aspects of information technology;
Identification of possible areas of trade and investment that will help generate trade flows between the Parties and to third markets.
Complete negotiations on bilateral investment promotion and protection agreements between Canada and Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua.
In order to meet the objectives of this Memorandum of Understanding, the Parties will establish a Council on Trade and Investment at the ministerial level (hereafter referred to as "the Council"), comprising the Ministers of Economy or Foreign Trade of Central America and the Minister for International Trade of Canada. The Council will meet annually or as the Parties may agree. In addition, the Parties will establish an Executive Committee comprising the Deputy Ministers of Economy or Foreign Trade of Central America and the Deputy Minister for International Trade of Canada, which will meet periodically, at least once a year, or as the Parties may agree.
The Parties may consult, in accordance with their internal mechanisms, their respective private sectors concerning matters related to the work of the Council and of the Executive Committee.
The Executive Committee will prepare and implement a Work Program to initiate the implementation tasks for this Memorandum of Understanding and will place it for consideration before the Council for its approval. As a matter of priority, the Work Program should include a proposal to facilitate, using the private sector expertise of the Parties, the development of trade capacity in priority sectors.
Done at San José, Costa Rica, on March 18, 1998, in six copies in each of the English, French and Spanish languages, each language version being equally valid.