We, Manuel Tovar, Minister of Foreign Trade of Costa Rica and Nir Barkat, Minister of Economy and Industry of Israel, are pleased to announce the decision to negotiate a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between Costa Rica and Israel.
Despite the geographical distance, our nations share an enduring relationship that encompasses longstanding social, cultural, and political ties. Accordingly, our countries have engaged in conversations about pursuing closer bonds and taking our bilateral relationship to the next level.
Both our countries are members of the WTO and the OECD and strategic partners in our journey towards development. Each country offers various opportunities to the other. Israel has a technologically advanced market economy, leading in various innovation industries such as high-tech, agritech, and cleantech. Costa Rica has transformed its economy and expanded from agricultural products to advanced medical manufacturing, electronics, tourism, information technology (IT) and sophisticated business support services. Therefore, the consolidation of a solid collaboration that strengthens supply chains and promotes the exchange of our high-quality goods and services is key for the synergy of our economies.
We have instructed our technical teams to work on drafting a clear Roadmap that encompasses our bilateral commitments as well as all the required preliminary steps that must be completed, including a Joint Study that properly assesses the expected gains from the FTA. Upon satisfactory implementation of the Roadmap by August 2023 at the latest, the negotiations for the FTA shall begin during the last quarter of 2023.