Costa Rica is a relatively small country, open to trade in goods and services as well as foreign investment. Until 2016, numerous Costa Rican free trade agreements regulated the country`s trade relations with a total of forty-nine nations. As a result, eighty percent of Costa Rica`s exports go to countries with which it has free trade agreements. The United States remains Costa Rica`s largest trading partner and Costa Rica`s largest foreign direct investor. In 2016, the United States had a trade surplus of $1.6 billion with Costa Rica. Foreign direct investment in Costa Rica reached $2.85 billion in 2015. Nearly 53% of these investments came from the United States. Costa Rica ratified the Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA-DR) with the United States in 2009. This free trade agreement immediately abolished most tariffs on non-agricultural imports and made U.S. businesses more attractive to both trade and investment in the region. Costa Rica`s working population is relatively well trained compared to other Central American countries.
The country claims a literacy rate of 97 to 98 percent, and English is particularly prevalent among young people and in Costa Rica`s tourism industry. In the first three years of the agreement, trade increased by 36 percent (from $324 million to $440 million).  Thirty years ago, Costa Rica`s trade policy underwent a significant change by adopting an export-based system as a new model of development. The diversification of export supply, the opening of new markets and the attraction of foreign direct investment have advanced the pace of its development model. Mexico – Mexico was the first of Costa Rica`s free trade agreements. The pact with its northern neighbour entered into force in 1995. Since then, overall trade between the two partners has grown at an average annual rate of 9.5%. Looking at each of the components of trade, the figures show that trade grew by an average of 13.1% in relative terms.
Peru – The agreement with this South American country is the second free trade agreement in Costa Rica to be put online in 2013. Since then, the average growth in total trade between the two nations has been 8.1% per year. After the signing of the free trade agreement with Peru, Costa Rican exports to the country increased by 9.1%, while imports increased with an overall annual rate of 11.1%. It was proposed to model the US Free Trade Area on the model of the CCRFTA.  With regard to foreign direct investment, Costa Rica has concluded 14 bilateral investment agreements, including five with EU Member States such as Spain, France, the Czech Republic, the Netherlands and Germany. The main economic indicators and trade statistics on the countries that dominate the market are the United States. . . .