Focussed on diversifying trade and expanding beyond its traditional markets, the Department of Commerce is set to soon participate in the first meeting of India-Costa Rica Joint Economic and Trade Committee (JETCO), which will identify ways to increase bilateral trade and investments, and is collecting industry inputs on areas of opportunities as well as existing non-tariff barriers.

“India’s bilateral trade with Costa Rica is not too high, at an annual $253 million (2022-23), but it is growing fast and holds a lot of potential. The two sides are expected to try to zero in on areas where there are opportunities for growth and jointly develop them,” a source tracking the matter told businessline.

Areas that could be explored for joint ventures include pharmaceuticals, medical devices, e-vehicles, tourism, space, biotechnology, nano-technology, artificial intelligence, renewable including solar and hydel, healthcare and ICT, the source added.

India and Costa Rica signed the agreement to establish the JETCO in June 2021. Both sides agreed to meet regularly to discuss matters of concern and interest in trade and direct investments with to further improve, deepen and strengthen the existing trade relationship between India and Costa Rica.

“The Commerce Department has asked the Indian industry to specify trade barriers, which could include logistic and regulatory issues, that they face in Costa Rica. Inputs have also been sought on strategies to increase Indian exports to Costa Rica,” the source said.

Costa Rica has earlier expressed interest in exploring a preferential trade agreement to boost trade and has offered to be a gateway to the Latin American region.