Chapter One Initial Provisions
Article 1.1: Establishment of a Free Trade Area
The Parties to this Agreement, consistent with Article XXIV of the General Agreement
on Tariffs and Trade 1994 and Article V of the General Agreement on Trade in Services, hereby
establish a free trade area.
Article 1.2: Objectives
1. The objectives of this Agreement, as elaborated more specifically through its principles
and rules, including national treatment, most-favored-nation treatment, and transparency, are to:
(a) encourage expansion and diversification of trade between the Parties;
(b) eliminate barriers to trade in, and facilitate the cross-border movement of, goods
and services between the territories of the Parties;
(c) promote conditions of fair competition in the free trade area;
(d) substantially increase investment opportunities in the territories of the Parties;
(e) provide adequate and effective protection and enforcement of intellectual property
rights in each Party’s territory;
(f) create effective procedures for the implementation and application of this
Agreement, for its joint administration, and for the resolution of disputes; and
(g) establish a framework for further bilateral, regional, and multilateral cooperation
to expand and enhance the benefits of this Agreement.
2. The Parties shall interpret and apply the provisions of this Agreement in the light of its
objectives set out in paragraph 1 and in accordance with applicable rules of international law.
Article 1.3: Relation to Other Agreements
1. The Parties affirm their existing rights and obligations with respect to each other under
the WTO Agreement and other agreements to which such Parties are party.
2. For greater certainty, nothing in this Agreement shall prevent the Central American Parties from maintaining their existing legal instruments of Central American integration, adopting new legal instruments of integration, or adopting measures to strengthen and deepen these instruments, provided that such instruments and measures are not inconsistent with this
Article 1.4: Extent of Obligations
The Parties shall ensure that all necessary measures are taken in order to give effect to the
provisions of this Agreement, including their observance, except as otherwise provided in this
Agreement, by state governments.