According to the vice-minister for trade, Fernando Ocampo, the government needs to spend $40 million, explaining that, "we can't be competitive when customs process that could take minutes instead take hours".
Prensa Libre reports a statement from the viceminister: "it's not for me to say where this money should come from since this is for the Treasury to decide. However, what I can say is improvements are urgently needed in order to provide a good service".
The action plan is designed to address the state of emergency that has been declared on the border between Costa Rica and Panama.
A press release from the Costa Rican Ministry of Foreign Trade states:
“The five month action plan will involve increasing the number of traffic officers, implementing an electronic collection system for fumigation charges, extending opening hours until midnight, contracting a design for the primary zone, implementing a system of international transit of goods, widening the highway to four lanes, and starting the remodeling of the immigration building. ‘Technological tools exist today that allow us to complete formalities in advance. To promote use of these, and to make the Peñas Blancas border crossing a place to pass through and not to do paperwork, we will establish before the primary zone a checkpoint that will to give priority to exporters who arrive with their paperwork already processed’, said Vice Minister, Fernando Ocampo.
The two countries have taken measures to facilitate trade by streamlining customs and phytosanitary procedures required for trade in goods between them.
A press release from the Ministry of Commerce and Industry of Panama states that the Minister of Commerce and Industry of Panama, Ricardo Quijano will travel to Costa Rica on the first of December to meet with Minister of Foreign Trade, Anabel Gonzalez.
The Housing Minister is to invite tenders to develop an land use plan for the whole country.
Panama's vice-minister for housing and land-use planning, Marta Riera de Álvarez, commented that real estate developers will be consulted with the aim of understanding their public service needs in order to carry out construction projects.
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