Costa Rica wants to join the transpacific trade bloc

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SAN JOSE – Costa Rica has formalized its application to join a trade partnership of 11 countries in Asia, Australia and the Americas, President Rodrigo Chaves announced Wednesday, in a step towards strengthening trade ties with the Asian economies.

The Central American country’s government has finalized its petition to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) a month after announcing it would negotiate entry into the Pacific Alliance bloc of countries from Latin America.

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« It allows us to share business strategies, attract investment and build connections for small and medium-sized businesses, » said Chaves, who said the CPTPP accounts for 17% of global trade.

The CPTPP came into effect in 2018 as an offshoot of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, following the departure of the United States from this proposed trading bloc. Current members are Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam.

Costa Rica, with a population of 5.2 million, has free trade agreements with nine countries and is negotiating another with Ecuador, in addition to regional trade agreements with the European Union, Caribbean states (Caricom) and Central American countries (CAFTA). (Reporting by Alvaro Murillo; Editing by Leslie Adler)


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