Through trade missions, market mapping, seminars and conventions the union of exporters in Costa Rica intends to take better advantage of business opportunities offered by Colombia.
In 2015 Colombia spent $75 million on the purchase of goods and services in Costa Rica, establishing itself as the main market, above Brazil, Ecuador and Chile, from where Colombia imported $51.9 million, $44 million and $37 million respectively.
A bill prepared by the Central Bank would require all financial entities to request authorization from the institution before obtaining dollar loans from abroad.
With this measure and others such as modifying the legal reserve requirement in foreign currency, which currently stands at 15%, the Central Bank of Costa Rica aims to stop the growth that has been seen in loan portfolios in US currency. In 2015 alone dollarloans grew by 14%, although measures have been taken in relation to funding requests from companies and individuals that do not generate revenue in that currency.
The Ministry of Agriculture said no to the possibility of importingpotatoes, despite demands made by the industrial sector.
The government argues that in order to opening up markets to potato imports a study would need to be carried out to determine whether there is shortage of the product, and the data of the National Production Council confirms that there is sufficient supply.
The benefits to the country's competitiveness are to be found exactly in the requirements demanded of the public policies needed to join the OECD.
Representatives from the Costa Rican Chamber of the Food Industry argue that the eventual accession to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) is an opportunity for improving "... key aspects of competitiveness for Costa Rica."
While ships wait five days to unload grains, a new dock is unable to be used because a staff member resigned and the appointment of his replacement has been delayed.
A green light is being awaited from the new authorities of the Costa Rican Pacific Ports in order to start work and approve the fee schedule so that dock can start operating. However, this delay has generated several additional costs in recent months, increasing the price of corn, soybeans and sodium carbonate, among other things.
The productive sectors are pointing out the negative effects of the planned increase from 13% to 15% in Value Added Tax, and insist on the need to resolve the fiscal problem by cutting state spending.
According to representatives of the productive sector, an increase in Value Added Tax (VAT) will have a negative effect on the economy. For the food industry, the 15% rise could result in the closure of production plants and an increase in informality among businesses.
The loss of competitiveness facing the food industry is the reason that exports have fallen from $1,124 million in the first ten months of 2013, to $1,051 million in the same period in 2014.
High interest rates, higher inflation, credit constraint in production, lower growth and a sharp reduction in sales are some of the problems facing the food sector which reported a decline of 6.5% in foreign sales.
The Costa Rican Chamber of the Food Industry has affirmed that problems and delays in the registration process have temporarily been resolved.
Representatives from the food industry (Cacia) point out that since the Ministry of Health implemented a temporary measure which allows records to be filed via an affidavit, the formalities are being completed in a week.
Businessmen in Costa Rica attribute the outflow of $31 million in the first quarter of the year to the close down of operations of businesses in the sector who have decided to move to neighboring countries.
The outflow of capital from the manufacturing industry during the first three months of this year is $7 million more than left the country in the same period in 2009, during the economic crisis in the United States, according to detailed figures from the Central Bank of Costa Rica.
The state run electricity company intends to archive projects in the energy reform sector, while the commission presided over by president Solis is going to take 18 months, just to discuss the country's energy matrix.
After the Solis government having announced the creation of a commission that will take a year and a half just to diagnose the problems of the energy sector in the country, the Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad has made a request for three projects on law reforms being studied in the Legislature, to be archived while the commission seeks these solutions.
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