Canadian SMEs More Competitive Under Canada-Costa Rica Trade Deal

The Canada-Costa Rica Free Trade Agreement continues to help Canadian small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) increase their market shares in this key Central American country.

Covertech Fabricating Inc. is one SME that has benefited from this free trade agreement (FTA). The company, established in 1990, manufactures a variety of plastics-based products including a reflective insulation called rFOIL™.

The agreement has provided a huge boost for Covertech in the region, says Paulina Barnes, who represents Covertech in Costa Rica. The FTA has opened up markets that the company wouldn’t have pursued otherwise, she says, noting that the elimination of tariffs puts Canada at a competitive advantage.

“If there were a similar product coming out of the U.S., we would have an advantage in terms of the tariffs that Costa Rica charges. So we’re more competitive in terms of prices," says Barnes.

John Starr, Covertech’s vice-president, says the agreement gives his company “free access" to the country. “Free trade between Canada and Costa Rica has helped Covertech by allowing us to do business with no duties,” he says.

In 2012 the company did $250,000 worth of business in Costa Rica.

Starr says his company has this free trade agreement to thank for the continued growth of its business. He says he hopes to find more applications for Covertech’s products in Costa Rica in the future.

Learn more about the Canada-Costa-Rica Free Trade Agreement.