The Setena plans to amend regulations in order to reduce the timescale for ruling on studies for projects with high environmental impact, to 5 months.
At the moment the National Environmental Technical Secretariat (SETENA) is takes between 6 months and a year to analyze and decide whether or not to grant permission for construction projects with high environmental impacts.
Lack of water is stopping productive development, and at the same time the very same disorderly development is causing shortages in several areas of the country.
Lack of water is stopping productive development, and at the same time the very same disorderly development is causing shortages in several areas of the country. The Central Valley is one of the areas already feeling the effects of the lack of infrastructure, as well as well defined plans, - a difficulty in Costa Rica- well executed by public institutions.
The amount of square metres of construction in applications for permits up to June 2015 decreased by 7% compared to the same period in 2014, with office buildings and industry leading the decline, with negative rates of 22% and 10%, respectively.
Data from the Costa Rican Chamber of Construction shows the decline in the number of square meters of construction being processed with the Association of Engineers and Architects.
A free zone, two hotel developments and a condominium estimated at $185 million and $30 million are part of the works that private entrepreneurs have planned for the province of Limon, in Costa Rica.
With the announcement of the construction of the container terminal at Moin and the extension of Route 32, investors have glimpsed investment and business opportunities in the province, which foresees strong economic development in the coming years.
The private sector claims that $1900 million were approved by previous governments for public infrastructure projects which have not yet been executed by the Solís administration.
The Costa Rican Chamber of Construction (CCC) argues that there are projects pending implementation by the National Roads Authrity and Water and Sewage Department which were already approved under the previous administration that have not been carried out.
In the last three years there has been a decline in the amount of credit granted to private companies for purchasing property, land and construction of buildings.
In September 2014, on average, 834 transactions were formalized between banks and other financial companies, representing a decrease of 28% compared to the same month in 2013. The downward trend in granting of loans for these purposes has been observed since early 2012.
Employers say the value added tax of 13% on services will raise end prices of buildings by between 4% and 8%, and propose a differential rate for the sector.
The Costa Rican Chamber of Construction (CCC) states that the construction of a dwelling requires other services such as electricians, plumbers, metalworkers, architects, engineers, and others, which will eventually transfer this 13%, impacting the final cost.
In a country with serious public infrastructure problems, world class construction companies have to look for projects in other markets.
Added to the slow pace of defining and implementing public works is the small amount of construction projects being developed in the country, compared, for example, with the Panamanian economy. For this and other reasons Costa Rican construction companies are choosing to seek business in Central America, where "... they offer companies a greater number of contracts and certainty that these projects will be implemented at short notice."
Although since 2011 the construction of hotels has shown a downward trend, 23 new projects requested a declaration of interest in order to start operations in the country.
Figures from the Construction Chamber show that between 2011 and 2013 the total square meters approved for construction of new hotels dropped from 140,670 m² to 51,975 m². However, it seems that the sector us beginning to recover, as there are 23 projects that were declared of interest by the Costa Rican Tourism Institute (ICT) that are under construction or have received approval to start work.
Explosives and plastic pipes were the products which recorded the largest increases in the first half of the year, due to variations in the price of the dollar.
Data from the index of materials and special construction services compiled by the National Institute of Statistics and Census (INEC) shows that "... the abrupt increases in the exchange rate of the dollar," explained the 36% increase in price up until June for Explosives and of 19.6% from March to June for plastic pipes.
In the first five months of the year the number of square meters approved for construction of new buildings decreased by 9.5% compared to the same period in 2013.
Data from the Costa Rican Chamber of Construction (CCC) shows that the type of buildings seeing the greatest decline are for commercial purposes, which experienced a 31.6% reduction in the number of square meters processed during the first five months of the year.
Officials of the new Solis administration said that in the awarding of works "there is blatent and entrenched favoritism" that "is a disadvantage" to companies who "are not friends of anyone."
An article in Nacion.com reports that "... The chief executive of the National Institute of Housing and Urbanism (INVU), Sonia Montero Díaz denounced the existence of a 'monopoly' in the construction of houses for social welfare. "
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