Costa Rican Foreign Minister Rene Castro said on Saturday that the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with China will help his country overcome the challenge of global financial crisis.

Castro told a press conference at the end of the 20th Ibero-American summit in the Argentine seaside resort that he expects the Costa Rican congress to ratify the trade pact "in the coming weeks."

"It is a topic with a lot of consensus in the country," Castro said, adding that his country sees Asia as "an alternative for a moment of economic deterioration."

"Costa Rican went from exporting 40 products to 4,000 in 15 years despite the crisis in the United States and Europe," he said.

China and Costa Rica inked an FTA in April, the first between China and a Central American country. The China-Chile and China-Peru FTAs went into effect in October 2006 and March 2010 respectively.

According to the minister, Costa Rica just ratified an FTA with Singapore and is negotiating a free trade pact with South Korea.

"Asia will mean an area of innovation and growth for Costa Rica," Castro said.


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