Colombia defines its objectives in the FTA with Costa Rica

Colombia laid out its conditions to Costa Rica in the first round of negotiations of the Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), but the Costa Rican businessmen are not going to accept easily.

Any industrial products will be out of this treaty. It is a Colombian position, which applies not only to Costa Rica but also for any negotiations, including Korea, said its chief negotiator, Humberto Javier Gamboa.

By contrast, the fears expressed by the Costa Rican agricultural businessmen were eliminated when Gamboa acknowledged that products which are large producers and global recognition for quality, such as flowers, coffee, sugar and bananas were not in its first list of interests.

The position of Colombia in the first round left waiting for the food production sector to be addressed.

However the Colombian interest to open the American market in this area is clear.

Even big Colombian firms, as Nutresa Group, owner of Pozuelo, speak of the necessity to eliminate entrance fees and taxes currently charged to food.

Deputy Minister of Foreign Trade (Comex) and chief negotiator for Costa Rica, Fernando Ocampo, had to speak clearly by Colombian aggression. “The complicated part will be the industry, not agriculture, it is a negotiation that has to be done with tweezers,” he said.

In the first week of September, the Comex is going to do business with a newconsultation process, to set positions of the second round of negotiationsscheduled between 24 and 28 September in San Jose.

Among the negotiators there is the idea that, the aggression Colombian industry can open space to sell agricultural products there. For the Colombians industrial concessions will be given for nothing.

Said, Álvaro Sáenz, of the National Chamber of Agriculture and Agribusiness (CNAA), who has no clear the scene.

He says he has yet to review proposals to secure a position for the consultation process. For now, follows the thesis of complete exclusion of this sector.

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