This Agreement creates a free trade area between the parties. It was signed on 9th March 2004. The Agreement is non-reciprocal for CARICOM lesser Developed Countries (LDCs). However, if the LDCs grant preferential treatment to originating goods from a country that is not Costa Rica, that treatment shall be granted to those same goods from Costa Rica.
The objectives of this Agreement, as elaborated more specifically through its principles, rules and provisions, including national treatment, most-favored-nation treatment and transparency, as referred to in this Agreement, are to:
- establish and develop a free trade area in accordance with its provisions;
- stimulate trade expansion and diversification between the parties;
- eliminate barriers to trade, and facilitate the cross-border movement of goods and services between the territories of the parties;
- promote conditions of fair competition in the free trade area;
- increase substantially, investment opportunities in the territories of the parties;
- create effective procedures for the implementation and application of this Agreement, for its joint administration, and for the resolution of disputes;
- promote regional integration in the Americas, and contribute to the progressive elimination of barriers to trade and investment; and
- establish a framework for further bilateral, regional and multilateral co-operation to expand and enhance the benefits of this Agreement.