Non-oil trade exchange between the UAE and Costa Rica grew 33 percent from US$19.8 million in 2017 to $26.3 million in 2018 following the opening of their embassies in Abu Dhabi and San Jose in 2017 and 2018, respectively, according to a report by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.
“UAE’s exports to Costa Rica totaled $2.2 million in 2017, with imports estimated at $16.4 million and re-exports at $1.2 million,” added the report, released to mark the current visit paid by Ahmed Ali Al Sayegh, Minister of State, to San Jose.
“UAE’s exports surged 141 percent to $5.3 million in 2018,” said the report, elaborating that Costa Rica’s imports from the Emirates include aluminum, palm dates, and dry fruits, while UAE imports furniture, electric cables, medical equipment, and pineapple, with the Latin American state seeking to grow its UAE-bound exports of banana and coffee.
Up to 1,048 Costa Ricans visited the UAE in 2017 and the number increased to 1,709 in 2018 following the signing of a deal on operating codeshare flights between Emirates’ US destinations and JetBlue destinations across the US, Caribbean and Mexico, which resulted in flights between Dubai and San Jose via the US.
“The current trade and investment cooperation levels don’t reflect the aspirations held by the two sides, as there are wide prospects to advance exchanges in the fields of renewable energy, agriculture, industry, tourism, healthcare, education, and food security,” said the report, referring to the bilateral agreements signed by the two nations over the past two years, primarily on avoiding double taxation and stimulating investments on October 3rd 2017 and an air transport agreement on February 12, 2016.
The report also highlighted an MoU on modernising government work and another memo on setting up a political consultation committee, remarking that official relations between the two countries started in March 2010 and Costa Rica opened an office for its Foreign Trade Promotion Agency in Dubai in 2019.