A statement from the Chamber of Industries in Costa Rica reads:
The Chamber of Industries in Costa Rica, CIRC, would like to express its satisfaction at the incorporation of Panama into the Sub System for Economic Integration (SIECA), with which compliance is reached for one of the most important requirements proposed by the European Union to enable signing of the Association Agreement.
"The Chamber of Industries in Costa Rica welcomes the integration of Panama into SIECA. Panama not only represents significant business opportunities for our companies, but it is also a first class ally in many of the aspirations that Costa Rica has for the region’s development ", said Martha Castillo, Executive Vice President of the ICRC.
According to the ICRC in 2011 Costa Rican exports to Panama accounted to $572.6 million, while imports were $289.4 million. This positive trade balance is explained, among other things, by the following:
• Geographical proximity makes Panama a natural partner for Costa Rica.
• Panama is a country that bases its economy on services, rather than the production of goods, which gives national productive sectors the opportunity to place their products in the Panamanian market.
• Panama has more economic growth than other countries in the region. This is explained by large infrastructure projects, such as enlargement of the canal and other projects, as well as income from services provided.
• The main exports are industrial, the most noteworthy of which are medicines, food preparations, power lines, antidotes, and plastics, among other things.
The integration of Panama came after a long day of meetings between foreign ministers from SIECA member countries.
Panama's accession will be formalized in late June and will accelerate the elimination of tariffs and facilitate regional trade.
In Costa Rica and other Central American countries there are expectations over Panama's accession to the Central American Economic Integration Secretariat, which will be signed in Tegucigalpa on June 29, and the regional benefits it will bring.
The countries of Central America already made an offer of 90% of the tariff items that they will allow the European Union.
According to the Guatemalan vice minister of Foreign Trade, Ruben Morales, the negotiating teams from the region agreed to the 90% of the items as required by the EU at a private meeting that was held for one week in Guatemala.
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