Costa Rica: A Few Impoverish The Many

Once again conservationism is at the service of sectoral interests, paralyzing investment in infrastructure which is essential for halting the deteriorating competitiveness of the economy.

Friday, October 24, 2014


In Costa Rica an investment of billions of dollars to build a container port has been held up by six years of legal proceedings, and added to this will be a further 5 months due to maneuvers made by uncompromising conservationists in league with unionists.

A light of optimism shone on the productive sectors of Costa Rica, powered by rapid government intervention to keep the main ports of the country running, which had been paralyzed by the port union. The cause of the strike was the imminent commencement of the work to build a container terminal in Moin, a 33-year concession awarded to the dutch company APM Terminals, after a final decision by the Supreme Court rejected the umpteenth appeal filed by organizations against the project.

Only the environmental permit was pending, regarding which the president of the country himself, who has indicated support for the project, said it was "a matter of days."

But this optimism cooled when the Minister of Environment, in conference with the directors from the Environmental Technical Secretariat, said that permission would probably take an additional 5 months. The announcement was seen in many quarters as part of the government's strategy to ease tensions with the port union, removing immediate pressure over the conflict.

More on this topic

Costa Rica: Green Light for AMP Terminals

December 2014

The Environmental Technical Secretariat has approved environmental feasibility studies presented by APM Terminals for the construction of a port terminal dedicated to container ships.

After a long process affected by intense pressures from various sectors, especially trade unions, the environmental impact study was approved by the Environmental Technical Secretariat, giving the green light to the start of construction by the concessionaire APM Terminals. According to company reports, construction could begin in less than a month.

Caribbean Ports of Costa Rica On Strike

October 2014

Union members went on strike indefinitely in the port terminals of Moin and Limon, through which pass 80% of international trade by the country and the region.

Business leaders from various productive sectors reported losses caused by the strike, while managers of port administration are looking for alternative labour in order to restart the loading and unloading.

Development is Hostage to Minority Interests

May 2014

In Costa Rica extreme environmentalism and the interests of the port unions are crippling a proposed $1 billion logistics development which is vital for the country

For the second time this year an appeal has been filed to obstruct the development of the port terminal by APM Terminals. Now it is the Constitutional Court that is hosting yet another appeal against the construction of the access road to the project.

Does Costa Rica Really Want a New Port?

April 2014

There are so many obstacles faced by the project being run by Dutch APM Terminals that it begs the question as to whether the Costa Rican government really wants it to happen.

Since it was awarded construction of the New Mega Port for specialized container ships in Moin, the Dutch company APM Terminals has faced dozens of lawsuits and other legal measures in the courts, which has maintained continuous doubts about the realization of the project.