President Luis Guillermo Solis wants to see an agenda of trade developed with China rather than mere government handouts for Costa Rica.
As imports sky-rocket into Costa Rica from the world’s second largest economy, the exports from Costa Rica to China have been plummeting since the economic downturn of 2008. President Solis is looking to turn this trend around. He hopes to bring cultural exchanges, educational exchanges, infrastructure investment and technology into the fold of the Costa Rica and China relationship. He also expressed an interest in the special economic zones of China.
Costa Rica is the only country in Central America to have switched its allegiance from the Republic of China (Taiwan) to the People’s Republic of China as of this day in 2015. This happened under the leadership of then President Oscar Arias in 2007, and, although exports to China took an upswing at first, the most recent information has shown a decreasing number of products heading from Costa Rica to the giant of Asia.
China has placed a number of gifts and investments in Costa Rica since the time that allegiance was placed in the People’s Republic of China. The $100 million dollar National Stadium and 450 new police cars were pledged to Costa Rica from China, and plans for China to be involved in funding the expansion of the Limon Highway are under way.
In regards to President Solis’s address to Premier Li Keqiang, the Premier has responded in kind to the request of opening up a greater trade discourse. The development of special economic zones within Costa Rica is another area of interest for both the President and the Premier. Such special economic zones would bring a greater focus on technology, manufacturing, cars and renewable energy sources to name a few.
Exports and general cooperation may see an upturn in the coming years as the relationship between Costa Rica and China improves.