Costa Rica seeks to attract more investment from China

SAN JOSE, Nov. 27 (Xinhua) -- Costa Rican Vice President Luis Liberman and Minister of Foreign Trade Anabel Gonzalez Wednesday met with more than 100 Chinese business people in a bid to attract more investment from the Asian country.

The gathering is part of the two-day 7th China-Latin America and the Caribbean Business Summit that is under way.

"We see in China a promising future, a great ally with whom we have in recent years built solid trade ties," said Gonzalez, adding that Costa Rica is the Central American country that exports the most to China.

The summit is organized by the Costa Rica Investment Promotion Agency (CINDE) and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), with the participation of businesses in the field of textiles, corporate services and infrastructure.

Liberman said Costa Rica is the first country in Central America to consolidate a free trade agreement (FTA) with China, as part of its platform of trade agreements, which provides the Central American country with preferential access to several economies that together represent 70 percent of global trade.

These agreements are the main competitive advantage Costa Rica can offer Chinese investors keen on using the country as a springboard for doing business.

The Costa Rican government is especially interested in attracting electric appliance manufacturers, as well as businesses in the automotive, aeronautical, logistics, commodities and renewable energy sectors.

Gabriela Llobet, general director of CINDE, noted that from 2001 to 2011, Chinese investment in Costa Rica had reached 1.555 billion U.S.dollars.

"We believe there is a great opportunity for growth in Chinese investment in our country. It is a market that we are just beginning to approach in terms of investment but we see very interesting potential," said Llobet.

Some 1,200 participants from China and 20 Latin American countries are attending the China-Latin America and the Caribbean Business Summit.