Extracts from the joint press briefing by Óscar Arias Sánchez, President of Costa Rica, and José Manuel Barroso
Type: Summary of press conference
End production: 04/09/2008 First transmission: 04/09/2008
José Manuel Barroso, President of the EC, said on 4 September 2008, after his meeting with Óscar Arias Sánchez, President of Costa Rica, that the association agreement between the European Union and Central America could be concluded in 2009, but asked for more regional cohesion. In relation with the banana agreement, he explained that it could not be concluded because it was linked to the agriculture modalities of the Doha round, but he added that the European Commission was interested in finding a solution.
Only the original language version is authentic and it prevails in the event of its differing from the translated versions.
||General view of the press conference room: arrivals
||José Manuel Barroso, President of the EC, (in ENGLISH) saying that the current negotiations on an association agreement between the EU and Central America were of course at the heart of their exchanges; these negotiations are progressing in a satisfactory way and they expect them to be concluded in 2009; they have analysed the importance of concluding these negotiations as soon as possible; in this sense they count on Costa Rica to accelerate the process of regional integration which will act as a powerful engine for prosperity but also for stability for the whole region
||Óscar Arias Sánchez, President of Costa Rica, (in SPANISH) saying that for Europe, this trade is a very small part: 0.2%; it is nearly nothing; for Central America, it is a very big opportunity to have access to a market of nearly 500 million people; and this would certainly be the best help that Central America could receive; it could be the economic locomotive for the region
||José Manuel Barroso (in SPANISH) saying that they believe that the agreement was linked to the agriculture modalities of the Doha round; that is why they couldn't conclude the agreement; but they are now making an assessment and he told President Arias that the Commission is completely interested in finding a good solution for all the parties
||Óscar Arias Sánchez (in SPANISH) saying that unfortunately it failed, but they always thought that the agreement on banana would enter into force even without agreement on Doha
||Cutaways (2 shots)