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Costa Rica & Panama
Within Central America, Costa Rica is a strong opportunity for U.S. companies. Costa Rican citizens are very accustomed to doing business with the United States and many U.S. products command strong brand recognition. The large American ex-pat population and the prevalence of the use of the English language are viewed as key advantages for U.S. firms doing business in Costa Rica. The country’s strong middle class enjoys a high degree of purchasing power and has the ability to choose higher-value, international products. Further, under CAFTA-DR most U.S. consumer products and industrial goods enter Costa Rica duty-free.
Top opportunities for Virginia exporters to Costa Rica include:
- Construction Equipment
- Electric Vehicles
- Solar Energy
With ports on both oceans and known as the “Hub of the Americas,” Panama is one of the world’s most connected countries. Panama was the third-largest destination in Central America for US exports in 2021 and the fifth-largest destination for Virginia exports. The U.S.-Panama Trade Promotion Agreement (TPA) went into effect in October 2012 and will continue to offer U.S. goods a competitive advantage. For 87 percent of U.S.-made goods, tariffs dropped to zero percent immediately, with remaining non-agricultural tariffs phasing out by 2022.
Top opportunities for Virginia exporters to Panama include:
- Building products
- Disposable medical supplies
- Medical equipment
Frequently Asked Questions
Based on past trade missions, we expect 6-10 Virginia companies to participate. The registration process is ongoing until the trade mission is full or the registration deadline has passed.
You must pay the trade mission participation fee of $2,500 to the VEDP at the time of registration. The participation fee includes the following:
- Identifying, contacting and pre-qualifying local distributors, reps and/or partners and organization of your meetings with interested prospects
- A “Doing Business In” briefing on the market(s)
- Your VEDP Trade Mission Leader and in-country consultant on hand during the week to ensure everything runs to plan
- Interpreter if needed
All travel expenses including airfare, hotels, meals, individual ground transportation to be paid directly by each participant. Additional estimated costs you will incur include (but are not limited to):
- Roundtrip airfare
- Hotels (7 nights)
- Airport transfers, taxis, and other miscellaneous items
In most cases, you will be traveling independently to the locations of the local companies with which you are meeting. Because most appointments will be held at the companies’ locations, travel and other logistics may prevent each delegate from having a minimum of 3-4 meetings each day of the trade mission.
For travel between meetings, our consultants will recommend the most effective method of transportation. This will likely be a local car/driver.
If required, interpreters will be provided for meetings and are included in your registration fee.
Airline tickets: You book (and pay for) your own airline ticket via local travel agent or online air travel website. If you do not have a travel agent, the Trade Mission Leader can recommend one for you.
Hotels: VEDP will choose the hotel(s) and make reservations at a pre-negotiated government rate for each delegate. However, delegates will be responsible for their own hotel charges throughout the mission. All delegates will stay at the same hotel in order to facilitate logistics as well as to encourage the interaction and networking that is always a collateral benefit of traveling with a group. You will pay all hotel room charges directly to the hotel.
Contact your local International Trade Manager or the Trade Mission Leader immediately! We only want you to make the trip if we think there is good market potential for your company. We can perform exploratory market research within a short period of time to verify market potential for you.