Costa Rica and UAE Launch Preliminary CEPA Negotiations

The Minister of Foreign Trade of Costa Rica and the UAE Minister of State for Foreign Trade signed a joint statement marking the launch of preliminary talks to establish a comprehensive economic partnership agreement (CEPA) between the two countries. The signing took pace during the visit of a high-level Costa Rican delegation to Dubai.

«This agreement will contribute to establishing a new era of investment and trade in various fields, thereby supporting the sustainable economic development of both our nations and benefitting regional and global economies. Costa Rica is a key strategic partner of the UAE in the Central American region. The launch of preliminary CEPA negotiations reflects the two governments’ shared aspirations to promote bilateral economic relations, boost investment and trade exchanges, expedite the flow of goods, facilitate market access and create new joint investments and projects in priority sectors,» stated H.E. Al Zeyoudi.

The trade and investment exchanges between the two countries continue to grow as the non-oil trade reached USD 58.7 million in 2022 with a 19 per cent growth compared to that of 2021.

The UAE’s investments in Costa Rica span sectors such as IT, tourism, retail, advertising, media, real estate, renewable energy, air transport, and logistics. 

Costa Rica is also pursuing an agenda to expand and diversify its global trade and investment partnerships. The establishment of a CEPA with the UAE will be its first free trade agreement with a country in the Middle East.

The comprehensive economic partnerships program was launched by the UAE government in September 2021 with the aim of expanding the trade and investment partnership with a number of strategic global markets, increase the size of trade exchanges, and enhance growth opportunities for the national exports. Through this program, the UAE has signed four agreements so far – with India, Israel, Indonesia, and Turkey – and the upcoming period will see the signing of more agreements with other countries.