Costa Rica eyes up EFTA fruit export potential

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Costa Rica eyes up EFTA fruit export potential

Costa Rica has identified bananas and pineapples as top priorities for expanding exports to non-EU countries in Europe, according to research by the country's Foreign Trade Corporation (PROCOMER).

PROCOMER coordinator Ariana Tristán, said negotiations earlier this year for a trade deal with the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) comprising Switzerland, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein, were what had prompted the research.

"The characterization of the Norwegian market is a first reference point for further analysis of greater depth and scope in terms of sectors and mechanisms to enter the market," said Tristán.

They discovered 685 products which had high export potential for Norway including bananas, pineapples and coffee, in a country whose income per capita is five times that of a Costa Rica.

Researchers noted Costa Rican exporters would need to be aware of the Swiss penchant for product quality, reliability and punctuality when conducting business. They recommended that any delay, however minimal, on a date, delivery time or payment should be explained and apologized for.

Guatemala, Honduras and Panama also took part in the free trade negotiations with EFTA.

Costa Rica already exports to the trade bloc. In the first half of 2012 it's exports to Switzerland and Norway were US$1million and US$7.8 million respectively.

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