Colombians expect substantial progress in negotiating FTAs with Costa Rica

The Colombian delegation of negotiation the North American Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with Costa Rica expressed its desire to move the process substantially country agreements.

“We expect to to enter the same line of advance of the first round, Colombia, that was really advantageous in terms of disciplines,” said Colombia’s chief negotiator, Javier Humberto Gamboa.

The spokesman explained that there are several chapters closed, such as services and dispute settlement, among others.

Gamboa insisted they hope to continue that trend in this second round of negotiations which began this morning at the Hotel Real Intercontinental in Escazú.

“This week, the idea is to close any outstanding texts, disciplines on separating the issue of the lists, it takes more time,” he added.

Gamboa said they expect to close the general texts (chapters of the treaty agreement) that are pending, but did not specify what these might be.

He added that each also has dedicated channels and invested much time listening to the productive sectors, and listen to their concerns.

“Part of the negotiation of market access that is dedicated to reaching a free trade agreement that allows considering the different sensibilities,” he said.

Hurtado recalled that in the case of Costa Rica there are treaties with Mexico, Central America and China. “We will manage the sensibilities of both sides with gradualidades (with deadlines) that allow adjustments to avoid negative impacts,” he said.

Costa Rica hopes that this FTA negotiation is completed in December, after four rounds of negotiations, then move the text to the appropriate legal review.

The third round will be made in October in Colombia, and the final round in November in Costa Rica.

The document will be sent to the legislative process in the first half of 2013.

Colombia seeks trade agreement for industrial sectors, such as shoes, pasta and metallurgy, while the nationals want benefits for the agricultural sector, as a quota for the cane.