Rodrigo Chaves Robles, President of Costa Rica, received Dr. Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of State for Foreign Trade, in the Costa Rican capital, San José, during a visit by a high-level delegation from the UAE.

During the meeting, Al Zeyoudi conveyed the regards of President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, and His Highness Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Vice President, Deputy Prime Minister and Chairman of the Presidential Court, and their wishes for further prosperity, progress and well-being to the leadership and people of Costa Rica.

President Chaves and Al Zeyoudi affirmed that the agreement would significantly enhance bilateral trade and mutual investments between the two countries by eliminating tariffs, reducing trade barriers, promoting the exchange of goods, capital, and ideas between their thriving economies, and encouraging cooperation in the private sector.

The Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) between the two countries is the latest step in the UAE's foreign trade programme, launched to increase the country's non-oil foreign trade value to more than AED4 trillion by 2031.

During the visit, Al Zeyoudi met with several ministers and senior government officials to accelerate economic cooperation between the two countries. The parties then celebrated the signing of the CEPA and its role in initiating a new era in their relations.

During the Emirati delegation’s visit, Al Zeyoudi met with Manuel Tovar, Minister of Foreign Trade of Costa Rica, lauding the growing non-oil trade between the two friendly countries, which reached US$65 million in 2023.

The two sides highlighted promising prospects for expanding trade and investment in mutually interesting sectors, such as renewable energy, tourism, food security, information and communication technology, and manufacturing.

Al Zeyoudi also met with Franz Tattenbach, Minister of Environment and Energy of Costa Rica, to discuss trade and investment opportunities in both countries and leverage them, to widen their trade and investment cooperation to broader horizons.

Al Zeyoudi also talked to Efraim Zeledon Leiva, Deputy Minister Ministry of Public Works and Transport of Costa Rica, to discuss the significant opportunities available to investors and entrepreneurs in the transportation, logistics services, and infrastructure sectors.

Al Zeyoudi stressed that Costa Rica is one of the most promising economies in Central America, with many areas of cooperation with the UAE. Both countries are committed to developing flexible and sustainable economies focused on innovation, investment, and trade.

He affirmed that the CEPA with Costa Rica would give the UAE significant market access, with 98 percent of tariff lines duty-free or with reduced tariffs, including aluminium, polyethylene, heavy machinery, ceramics, glass, copper, and related products, iron and steel and related products, and cement.

The agreement will enhance the access of Emirati service providers to the Costa Rican market across a wide range of sectors, including business and communications; construction and engineering contracting; distribution; education; the environment; financial services; health and social care; tourism and travel; entertainment services; culture and sports; and transportation, he added.

As part of the visit, Al Zeyoudi participated in a high-level roundtable discussion with senior corporate executives and investors from both countries. The discussion aimed to enhance cooperation between the private sectors of both sides, starting with exchanging ideas and experiences and exploring potential investment and partnership opportunities.

During the roundtable, Al Zeyoudi invited participants to explore the available business and investment opportunities in both countries, highlighting the UAE’s business-friendly environment and its significant role as a global trade hub, which provides international investors with many unique opportunities in key economic sectors.

Rawdha Mohamed Alotaiba, UAE Ambassador to Costa Rica, attended the meetings. The UAE delegation included Rashed Abdulkarim Al Blooshi, Under-Secretary of the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development (ADDED); Juma Mohammed Al Kait, Assistant Under-Secretary at the Ministry of Economy for Foreign Trade Affairs; Mohammed Juma Al Mashrekh, Executive Director of Sharjah Foreign Direct Investment Office (Invest in Sharjah); Ahmed Khalifa Al Qubaisi, CEO of the Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce and Industry; and Sultan Al Hindasi, General Manager of Fujairah Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

It also included a group of business leaders and senior executives from major private sector companies in various sectors, including food and agriculture, energy, logistics services, healthcare, and finance.