President Carlos Alvarado Quesada of the Republic of Costa Rica has received Ahmed Ali Al Sayegh, Minister of State, and his accompanying delegation during a visit to Costa Rica.
Minister Al Sayegh conveyed the greetings of the UAE leadership to the Costa Rican President, government, and people, and wished them further progress and prosperity. He also extended an invitation from President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan to President Quesada to visit the UAE.
President Quesada, in turn, praised the development of UAE-Costa Rica ties, expressing his deep appreciation to the UAE leadership and government for their constant keenness to strengthen mutual relations between them and encourage investment in vital sectors.
The Costa Rican President also commended the cultural renaissance witnessed by the UAE at all levels and the qualitative achievements accomplished for its people.
During the visit, Al Sayegh met with Maria del Pilar Garrido Gonzalo, Minister of Planning and Economic Policy; Manuel Ventura, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Worship; Rocio Aguilar Montoya, Minister of Finance; Renato Alvarado Rivera, Minister of Agriculture and Livestock; Dyala Jimenez Figueres, Minister of Foreign Trade; as well as a number of Costa Rican senior officials.
The UAE Minister discussed with senior officials in Costa Rica areas of cooperation and investment, particularly in equity and sovereign bonds, finance, trade and investment, agriculture and environment, food and livestock security, infrastructure, telecommunications, ports, health care, and sports.
He also met with Carlos Manuel Rodriguez, Environment and Energy Minister, and discussed cooperation opportunities in the energy sector and sustainable development and the importance of legislation encouraging investment in the renewable energy sector.
Al Sayegh stated that the UAE is characterised by an active, prosperous, and attractive economic environment of foreign direct investment, pointing out that it has reached this status in the presence of modern and distinguished infrastructure and as a result of the adoption of effective economic policy and modern economic legislation.
He also called on the public and private sectors in Costa Rica to participate in the exhibitions and conferences hosted by the UAE as they provide a distinct platform to highlight the investment opportunities available, as well as the possibility of communicating with UAE companies to benefit from their expertise in various fields.
The visit came in response to an official invitation from Epsy Campbell Barr, Costa Rican Vice President, to H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, during the meeting held on the sidelines of the World Summit Governments in Dubai, in February 2019.
"While the figures and statistics on the volume of trade and investment do not reflect the aspirations of the leadership in both countries, there are opportunities to expand their cooperation in renewable energy, agriculture, industry, tourism, healthcare, education, and food security," Minister Al Sayegh said.
Costa Rica is one of the leading economies in the field of sustainable development and it strongly advocates environmental protection, which is in line with the UAE desire to establish itself as a global centre for best practices in the green economy, renewable energy, and sustainable development.
On the sidelines of the visit, two Memoranda of Understanding, MoUs, were signed, the first was between the UAE and Costa Rican governments on enhancing trade and investment ties.
The agreement aims to foster economic cooperation, provide opportunities to promote trade and investment between the two countries, facilitating and promoting dialogue between the UAE Ministry of Economy and the Costa Rican Ministry of Foreign Trade, and stimulating initiatives that encourage communication between institutions and the private sector.
The second MoU is in the field of Halal accreditation between the Emirates Authority for Standardisation and Metrology and the Costa Rican Accreditation Entity. It aims to ensure the implementation of the UAE Halal Products Control System by providing accreditation according to the UAE requirements in Costa Rica.
The UAE delegation included Juma'a Rashid Khamis Al Rumaithi, UAE Ambassador to Costa Rica, and representatives from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, the Ministry of Economy, the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development, Masdar, the Ministry of Climate Change and the Environment, DP World, and the Abu Dhabi Global Market.
As part of their efforts to support economic and political cooperation, the two countries have signed a series of bilateral agreements, the most important of which are agreements to protect and encourage investment, avoidance of double taxation on income and air transport, and visa exemptions, as well as MoUs to modernise government work and establish a political consultation committee.
The UAE-Costa Rica relations were formally established on 11th March, 2010, and Costa Rica opened its embassy in Abu Dhabi in November 2017. In February 2019, Costa Rica's Foreign Trade Promotion Agency (PROCOMER) has opened a new representative office at Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry's headquarter.
The UAE Embassy in Costa Rica opened in August 2018.
The volume of non-oil trade between the two countries increased in 2018 to reach US$26.3 million compared to $19.8 million in 2017, an increase of 33 percent. The total value of the country's exports to Costa Rica during 2017 was $2.2 million, while the country's imports amounted to $16.4 million, while the re-export value was about $1.2 million.
The UAE exports to Costa Rica in 2018 raised to $5.3 million, an increase of 141 percent.
The number of visitors from Costa Rica to the country in 2017 reached 1,048, and the number of tourists increased to 1,709 in 2018, following the signing of the codeshare flights between Emirates and JetBlue, and the operation of flights between Dubai and San Jose through the United States of America.
Source: UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs