Costa Rica Trade Relations with the EU

By | July 23, 2022


  • Business Relationships
  • FTAs ​​and Treaties
  • Development Cooperation
  • Prospective fields of study (MOP)

Business relations

Trade relations with the EU

The importance of the EU as a trading partner of Costa Rica is increasing, especially in connection with the signing of the Association Agreement between the EU and Central America in 2012. The EU is the second most important trading partner for Costa Rica, the second largest destination for the allocation of Costa Rican exports, and also the second largest supplier of goods and services to the local market (after USA).

  • Allcountrylist: Overview of major industries in Costa Rica, including mining, construction, transportation, tourism, and foreign trade.

Costa Rica’s main export commodities are industrial products, especially demanding technologies such as computer electronic components, as well as medical implants and medical devices. Agricultural products also form a significant part of exports, dominated by traditional exports of tropical fruit, coffee and chocolate.

Trade exchange with the EU (million EUR)

2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Exports from the EU (million EUR) 973.5 1,095.2 979.4 ON ON
Imports into the EU (million EUR) 2,425.7 2,578.3 2,557.3 ON ON
Balance with the EU (million EUR) 1,452.2 1,483.1 1,577.9 ON ON

Source: European Commission

Trade relations with the Czech Republic

The foreign trade turnover between the Czech Republic and Costa Rica is very unbalanced with a significant deficit on the Czech side, which is mainly the result of large purchases of Intel microprocessors by Czech entities in Costa Rica.

Trade exchange with the Czech Republic (billion CZK)

2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Exports from the Czech Republic (billion CZK) 0.2 0.2 0.2 ON ON
Imports to the Czech Republic (billion CZK) 1.0 1.0 5.1 ON ON
Balance with the Czech Republic (billion CZK) 0.8 0.8 4.9 ON ON

Source: CZSO

FTAs and treaties

Treaties with the EU

Costa Rica is a party to the EU-Central America Association Agreement. The commercial part of the agreement aims to create a free trade zone between the EU and Central America, including the creation of suitable conditions for investment and capital growth. The trade provisions of the association agreement have been provisionally applied to Costa Rica since October 2013. They include the reduction of tariffs, non-tariff barriers to trade, liberalization of the services market, protection of geographical indications (GIs), opening of the public procurement market, TBTs (technical barriers to trade) and SPS (sanitary and phytosanitary measures) both parties undertook to fulfill obligations arising from WTO agreements and in some areas to go beyond these agreements.

Contracts with the Czech Republic

Basic agreement on scientific and technical cooperation between the Czechoslovak Republic and the Republic of Costa Rica (1972)

Agreement on cultural cooperation between the Czechoslovak Republic and the Republic of Costa Rica (1982)

Agreement on the support and mutual protection of investments between the government of the Czech Republic and the government of the Republic of Costa Rica (1998).

Agreement between the Government of the Czech Republic and the Government of the Republic of Costa Rica on the abolition of the visa requirement for holders of national passports (2000)

Memorandum on consultations between the MFA of the Czech Republic and Costa Rica (2005)

Memorandum on cooperation between the Diplomatic Academies of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Costa Rica (2005)

Developmental cooperation

Costa Rica is not one of the priority countries in the framework of the development aid of the Czech Republic. Over the last period, the Czech Republic implemented several small-scale ad hoc development and technical assistance projects in the Central American country. EU development aid was provided to Costa Rica until 2020 as part of the EU’s multi-annual indicative program for Latin America (Multi-Annual Indicative Programme). However, in connection with the entry into the OECD and rising living standards, bilateral development cooperation is to end in the next programming period after 2020.

Prospective fields of study (MOP)

In Costa Rica, the most attractive export sectors are new technologies, water management, clean-tech and civil aviation. Even within the framework of the pandemic measures, the government has committed itself to further support of clean energy and for this purpose is also trying to secure financing from international investors. Although Costa Rica is a champion in the field of green energy production, there is potential for improvement in other aspects related to greenhouse gas emissions and environmental protection. The capital, San José, is struggling with traffic jams and pollution. It does not have an efficient public transport system. Likewise, Costa Rica needs waste management technologies and water purification technologies.

Costa Rica Trade