China calls for talks after Costa Rica abandons project

China calls for talks after Costa Rica's Recope decides to abandon $1.5 billion refinery upgrade project


Reuters April 18, 2016
PHOTO: REUTERS

BEIJING: China's Foreign Ministry on Monday called for talks after Costa Rica's state-run oil company Recope said last week it had decided to abandon a $1.5 billion refinery upgrade project it was working on with China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC).

In 2009, the two firms formed a company called Soresco, with each putting in $50 million. But the project has been paralysed since 2013 by Costa Rica's comptroller after complaints of conflicts of interest in the feasibility studies.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said he had noted the media reports on the issue, adding that relations have been developing well in recent years.

"As for individual problems that arise during our cooperation, we hope the relevant companies in both countries can continue to increase communication, understand each other's concerns and find an appropriate resolution," he told a daily news briefing, without elaborating.

Costa Rica made the surprise move of breaking off its decades-long relationship with Taiwan in 2007, now only recognised by a handful of small countries, including the rest of Central America.

China lent Costa Rica nearly $400 million in 2013 during a visit by Chinese President Xi Jinping.

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