The vagueness of the Solis administration regarding the integration of Costa Rica into the Pacific Alliance has provoked negative reactions from business associations.
The country's entry into the Commercial alliance composed of Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru would represent a very important change for the economy of Costa Rica, a change that sectors producing goods and services would have to integrate into their strategic plans, which is why they need clear signals regarding what will happen.
The private sector is demanding homogeneity in the foreign trade strategy, since the situation today is that there is "one protectionist minister and another who works for free trade."
In the words of José Manuel Quirce, president of the Chamber of Importers of Costa Rica (Crecex), the Solis administration needs to focus on "... harmonizing approaches in foreign trade" in order to avoid having one agriculture ministry imposing nontariff barriers to protect local production, and at the other extreme another minister of foreign trade promoting free trade.
The governments of both countries are cultivating a rare blend of populism and mercantilism where invoking the interest of the poorest they take protectionist measures which end up making staple foods more expensive and difficult to access.
It is no coincidence that two opinion piece articles in major newspapers in Panama and Costa Rica are devoted to the same theme: Protectionist measures taken by their governments given as examples of aid to agricultural sectors which are basically inefficient in food production, leading to imports of these foods having lower prices in the market that can be offered by domestic production.
Besides generating a predictable impact on trade between the two countries, the FTA brings Panama closer to the Pacific Alliance, a block which has already expressed its willingness to integrate the country.
It is estimated that this trade agreement will establish the foundation to create a commercial corridor that allows "... strengthening the position of both countries as privileged platforms for production and distribution of goods and services for both the Americas and for global markets. "
There is an imperative need for Guatemala to table a clear strategic relationship with China, not only in terms of trade, but also fundamentally at the political level.
From the Publication entitled "Economic Policy, Trade and Investment by Guatemala in the PRC: strategy in the short, medium and long term" by the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC):
With opposition from agro-industry, the government has initiated the processes required to join the trade bloc, including a consultation period, which runs until the end of the year.
Entry into the block requires a greater commercial opening than that established in free trade treaties negotiated between Costa Rica and member countries, Mexico, Colombia, Peru and Chile, which is why productive sectors such as agriculture and industry oppose it.
The country will promote foreign investment in these sectors, especially in areas with less development further away from the Greater Metropolitan Area.
The Costa Rican Coalition for Development Initiatives (Cinde) will focus on promoting investment in these sectors, diversifying its strategy of attracting investment and giving greater emphasis to the development of areas further away from the capital, where there is a stronger link with the productive sectors and agribusiness.
The new Solís administration will focus on attracting foreign investment in rural areas far from the capital in activities related to the agricultural sector.
Giving a significant twist to the policy of attracting FDI so far implemented in the country, the ministry of foreign trade is focusing its efforts on attracting companies to invest in areas far away from the greater metropolitan area and in areas linked to agribusiness.
Leaders of business associations in the region have indicated that governmental arbitrariness is interfering in Central America’s development.
A statement from the Federation of Chambers of Commerce of Central America (FECAMCO) reads:
Business organizations in the region which make up the Federation of Chambers of Commerce of Central America (FECAMCO) when meeting in Miami, Florida, USA, expressed their "great concern" about the institutional crisis in El Salvador, which they described as an "assault on the rule of law."
Private sector leaders expect that the Sandinista government will maintain reasonable macroeconomic policies, agreements with the IMF, and continue to dialogue with businesses.
Business leaders are expecting continued government-business dialogue, agreements with the IMF and the continued promotion of foreign and domestic investment in President Daniel Ortega’s the second term, which began on 10th January.
Businesses from the National Development Foundation (Funde) indicate that, after two years of rule by Mauricio Funes, the country’s economy lacks clear direction.
With an eye on the threat of a new global recession, the government is being accused of failing to take advantage of the surge in tax revenues and remittances from abroad to do work "that will generate productivity, instead of the contrary, spending all its income on subsidies and salaries for public employees. "
We help companies, specially those with little or no specialized staff in external trade to increase and improve their internationalization activities. We also deal specifically all logistic aspects.
Operates in Panama, Nicaragua, Guatemala and El Salvador
Phone: (34) 985 131 703