From a press release from the Ministry of Foreign Trade of Costa Rica:
Ottawa, April 20, 2012. The third round of negotiations of the modernization process of the Free Trade Agreement with Canada ended today. During this meeting, positions of the two countries became closer, and they managed to conclude the discussion of dispute settlement chapters and technical barriers to trade, and made significant progress on the negotiations regarding regulations for temporary entry, e-commerce, institutional arrangements, labor, environmental and trade in services.
"We believe that the modernization of the trade agreement with Canada would open major new opportunities for trade and investment with that country, and the results we achieve would significantly improve the preferential terms with which we currently enter the Canadian market," said Deputy Minister of Foreign Trade, Fernando Ocampo, who led the Costa Rican delegation.
Technical teams from Costa Rica and Canada will start the second round of negotiations this week in order to upgrade the FTA which has been in place since 2002.
Costa Rica hopes to negotiate an agreement to allow non-discriminatory access to the Canadian market to Costa Rican service providers. It also seeks the elimination of tariffs on digital products transmitted electronically.
Although both parties have expressed interest in renewing the agreement negotiations have been stalled since May.
The parties have opposing positions and this led to the current situation where no agreement has been reached. The renegotiations were started in late 2011, as the treaty did not include modern standards regarding services and conflict resolution.
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