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Costa Rica wants closer ties with T&T

Published: 
Wednesday, July 26, 2017
Costa Rica, Ambassador, Lilly Edgerton Picado ,left, speaks during a breakfast meeting at the T&T Chamber of Industry and Commerce, West Moorings, yesterday. Looking on are CARICOM, Procomer, Business Development Executive, Trade Promotion Officer, Sheri Joseph ,centre, and ExporTT Limited Manager Projects Brian Benjamin.

Costa Rica’s ambassador to T&T, Lilly Edgerton Picado, says her country wants to forge closer ties with T&T, beginning with tighten security in the Caribbean through the signing of a security treaty.

Picado, a former journalist who has been in T&T for only three months as ambassador, said a treaty was crafted more than a decade ago between Costa Rica and Caribbean nations, but some countries, including T&T, did not sign it. She said the purpose of that treaty was to exchange information concerning drug trafficking on the seas and she wants to revive it, adding she hopes T&T will reconsider its position and sign it.

“The Treaty of San Jose was created 14 years ago, but it has not been signed or ratified in several countries of the Caribbean including T&T,” Picado said during an interview at a breakfast seminar which introduced the Costa Rican market to T&T at the T&T Chamber of Industry and Commerce, Westmoorings.

“The rationale of that treaty is that we could exchange information on vessels, the main objective of that is to fight against drug trafficking. Of course, this was 14 years ago, other events have occurred since then, so there are other security issues to be considered. That is the idea that T&T considers signing and ratifying that treaty.”

According to T&T’s bilateral trade agreement and incentive regime, prepared by the Ministry of Trade, “since 2010, exports have fluctuated (between T&T and Costa Rica), increasing from US$ 130.4 million in 2010 to US$ 82.1 million in 2014. In 2012, T&T’s exports to Costa Rica were at its lowest level, however this increased substantially in 2013. Imports have also increased by 29 per cent since 2010, from US$ 34.9 million to US$ 45.1 million in 2014.”

Picado said Costa Rica wants T&T to sign the treaty so there can be an exchange of information on drug trafficking and other security matters which the two countries face, as well as to strengthen T&T’s resources and common knowledge. Partnerships/joint ventures in other sectors other than security is another goal she wants to achieve. Already, the Costa Rican office is in dialogue with The University of the West Indies in a bid to create a partnership with Cost Rican universities.

What is clear, she said, is that Costa Rica and T&T have had diplomatic relations for 45 years and this “is quite an accomplishment.” The deepening of Costa Rica’s footprint in T&T would be to engage in projects where there is mutual benefit to both countries, she added.

The Costa Rican embassy also showcased its country at the recently concluded Trade and Investment Convention and believes T&T is one of its biggest trading partners in the Caribbean.