UAE, Costa Rica sign CEPA deal to develop sustainable economies, trade

Agreement expected to contribute $46 million annually to the UAE's GDP
UAE, Costa Rica sign CEPA deal to develop sustainable economies, trade
Over the past five years, bilateral trade between the UAE and Costa Rica has seen substantial growth, reaching approximately $244.3 million

UAE President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and Rodrigo Chaves Robles, President of Costa Rica, witnessed the signing of the UAE-Costa Rica Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) during a virtual ceremony.

The agreement, which was signed by Dr. Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, UAE Minister of State for Foreign Trade, and Manuel Tovar, Minister of Foreign Trade of Costa Rica, heralds a new era of bilateral cooperation between the two countries. It will also enhance trade flows, increase private-sector collaboration, and provide new opportunities for investment, particularly in priority sectors such as logistics, energy, aviation, tourism, and infrastructure development.

Al Zeyoudi revealed that Costa Rica and the UAE share many areas of strategic cooperation. The agreement marks a significant milestone in both countries’ bilateral relations and reflects their commitment to developing resilient, sustainable, and future-oriented economies.

He underscored the strategic significance of the UAE-Costa Rica partnership, highlighting mutual interests in various sectors. Costa Rica’s position as a promising emerging economy in Central America presents ample opportunities for cooperation, particularly in logistics, transportation and renewable energy. “Its commitment to the green economy also offers opportunities for renewable energy and ecotourism projects benefiting the private sector in both countries,” Al Zeyoudi added.

Market access

The agreement grants the UAE high access to Costa Rica’s market, eliminating tariffs on 98 percent of tariff lines or reducing customs duties. This facilitates the trade of key materials such as aluminum, polyethylene, heavy machinery, ceramics and more. Moreover, the CEPA enhances market access for UAE service providers across Costa Rica’s diverse sectors, including business, education, finance, healthcare, tourism, and transportation.

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Economic projections and growth potential

Feasibility studies project significant economic benefits from the CEPA for both countries. By 2031, the agreement could contribute $46 million annually to the UAE’s GDP and $44 million to Costa Rica’s GDP. Additionally, both countries expect the agreement to boost total exports, with Emirati exports to Costa Rica increasing by $24 million annually and Costa Rica’s exports to the UAE rising by $12 million annually. This will increase total cumulative direct UAE exports by the end of 2031 to $81 million. Meanwhile, Costa Rica will reach total exports of $134 million during the same period.

Over the past five years, bilateral trade between the two countries has seen substantial growth, reaching approximately $244.3 million. This upward trend underscores the shared commitment to enhancing trade and investment relations. Moreover, the CEPA aligns with the UAE’s broader economic partnership agreements program, reflecting its proactive approach to fostering international trade and cooperation.

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