Costa Rica seeks to boost trade with Qatar, says envoy
May 25 2020 08:30 PM
Costa Rica ambassador Mariano Segura Avila
Costa Rica ambassador Mariano Segura Avila

The Central American country of Costa Rica is working with the Foreign Trade Promoter (Procomer) in an ambitious plan to promote services and manufactured goods in Qatar through the respective chambers of commerce, Costa Rica ambassador Mariano Segura Avila has said.

“From that perspective, our role as an embassy is to create a link between Costa Rican producers and their counterparts in Qatar…although, the Middle East has not been a focal point for locating Costa Rican companies, the promotion strategy in the short term has begun to look towards Qatar and the neighbouring countries,” Avila told Gulf Times.

Avila explained that current exports in Costa Rica are highly-diversified. The main export goods are agricultural products sent to the European market, high-tech manufactured products directed to Asian countries, and medical components exports to the US.

According to the ambassador, this has contributed to mitigating the effects of the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) health crisis “because the export market is still open.” He also said the Embassy of Costa Rica is actively working to promote trade between both nations as part of the 10th anniversary celebrations of the establishment of its headquarters in Qatar.

“We are beginning with a sales strategy of Costa Rican products in the local market and open the doors of Costa Rica for the financial and productive investment of Qatari entrepreneurs in our territory.

“Currently, there are no Costa Rican companies located in Qatar. However, the volume of trade between the two nations has reached levels close to $13mn on average in recent years, not to mention the trade that is carried out indirectly by importing Costa Rican products from European countries,” Avila stressed.

He said the main Costa Rican export products to Qatar are electrical materials and cables, while the main export products from Qatar to Costa Rica correspond to aluminum alloys and polyethylene.

Transport costs and distance are the main obstacles to a sustained increase in the level of trade between the two nations, mainly with regard to the exchange of fresh fruits and perishable products, Avila pointed out.

“However, the expansion of Qatar Airways cargo routes to neighbouring countries and the development of processed products in Costa Rica are elements that will allow an increase in the commercial exchange of both nations in the medium term. Likewise, the greater tourist promotion of destinations in Costa Rica and technology services will increase the volume of business in the future.

“In the same way, thanks to the actual agreements, in the medium term the development of new investments between both countries will be of great importance, especially in those areas related with the fight against climate change, decarbonisation, and care for the environment. Both countries have expressed their interest in achieving these objectives in the main international organisations,” Avila said.

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