Deputy Secretary of State for Management and Resources Richard Verma and Costa Rican Foreign Minister Arnoldo Andre led the first U.S.-Costa Rica High-Level Strategic Dialogue (HLSD), in San Jose on December 14.
Building on the productive August 29 bilateral meeting between President Biden and President Chaves and the November 3 Americas Partnership for Prosperity Leaders’ Summit, Deputy Secretary Verma and Foreign Minister Andre discussed ways to expand cooperation on topics including security, humane migration, and inclusive economic prosperity. Deputy Secretary Verma reaffirmed the United States’ steadfast support for Costa Rica as it contends with threats linked to narcotrafficking and other organized crime. He also discussed the ongoing U.S. support for Costa Rica’s efforts to attract investments in the semiconductor industry, including in connection with funds derived from the International Technology Security and Innovation Fund, created by the CHIPS Act of 2022.
Together, Deputy Secretary Verma and Foreign Minister Andre announced several new initiatives, including:
- Plans to help both countries identify public security threats by sharing real-time biometric information and intention to develop a framework under which the United States could provide Costa Rica with additional assistance;
- Plans to jointly organize a regional conference on protecting 5G networks to be held in Costa Rica in April 2024;
- The extension of the Safe Mobility initiative through December 2024, to facilitate access to safe and lawful pathways to the United States and other countries for eligible Nicaraguans and Venezuelans residing in Costa Rica;
- A public-private partnership with Amazon to fund a new Academy for Women Entrepreneurs (AWE) program in Liberia, Guanacaste and provide support for American Spaces to increase STEM learning and skills training. AWE is a U.S. Department of State program that has provided training to over 600 women from economically disadvantaged communities in Costa Rica to establish or grow small businesses since 2019; and
- New assistance for small business development in vulnerable communities and efforts to increase female labor force participation.
The leaders agreed on the value of the new High-Level Strategic Dialogue mechanism for coordination and expressed their intention to hold the next meeting in Washington in 2024.
Official news published at https://www.state.gov/deputy-secretary-verma-leads-high-level-strategic-dialogue-in-costa-rica/