The Free Trade Agreement (FTA) signed between Costa Rica and China will promote bilateral economic and trade links, Costa Rican Vice President Alfio Piva said Friday.
"The Free Trade Agreement with China is the latest agreement we have signed. We are learning to work as a small country with a big country," said Piva, who was attending the 21st Ibero-American Summit, which opened here on Friday.
The FTA between Costa Rica and China was signed in April after six rounds of negotiations and took effect on Aug. 1.
"We hope to export stockbreeding products and green products to China, which is a market we place a lot of our expectation on," Piva told Xinhua in an interview.
Under the FTA, 99.6 percent of Costa Rican exports to China will enjoy preferential tariff, including products like tilapia, shrimp, flowers, ornamental plants, coca, yucca, paints, chocolate and palm heart, and 57 percent of China's exports to Costa Rica will have zero tariff, including textile products, musical instruments, shoes and eggs.
Bilateral trade between China and Costa Rica was 3.8 billion U.S. dollars in 2010, registering a year-on-year growth of 19.2 percent.
Piva was attending the Ibero-American Summit on behalf of President Laura Chinchilla, who, according to Piva, had to stay in San Jose "to fight hard battles like the one of imposing higher taxes on rich people and the industrial sector."
The Costa Rican government has been troubled by criticisms on its increasing expenditure and fiscal deficit. In 2010, the country proposed a budget cut of at least 20 percent to slow down the growth rate of fiscal deficit, which is expected to be 5.5 percent of the GDP in 2011.