Few Public-Private Partnerships in Costa Rica

Deficiencies in the regulatory framework, lack of political will and public capacity to plan and monitor partnerships are the reasons why this model of financing has not been used more fully in the country.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

A report called Infrascope, prepared by The Economist Intelligence Unit and FOMIN at the World Bank outlines the reasons why the legal concept of partnerships between state agencies and private businesses is not thriving in Costa Rica. 

According to the fourth edition of the report, Costa Rica is listed as an "emerging" country in the development of public-private partnerships (PPPs). 

The transport sector is where most of the few PPP projects in the country have been developed. Concessions to build roads and airports are some examples.

Aitor Llodio, executive director of the Aliarse foundation, told Elfinancierocr.com that "...'Most alliances in Costa Rica have been very shortsighted, almost philanthropic, more unidirectional, where the private sector puts in the money and the public sector its contacts. There are opportunities here. We have the challenge of empowering them even more'."

See "The legal dimension of public-private partnerships in Costa Rica " (In Spanish) and "Infrascope Report ".



More on this topic

Public-Private Partnerships: Where Would They Work Better?

May 2019

Guatemala, El Salvador and Costa Rica are the countries in the region with the best conditions to develop Public-Private Partnerships, followed by Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama.

The 2019 Infrascope index, which evaluates 23 indicators and 78 qualitative and quantitative sub-indicators in Public-Private Partnerships (PPP) in Latin America, is prepared by The Economist Intelligence Unit and has the financial backing of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).

Public-Private Partnerships Not Being Leveraged

December 2017

In the four years that the law of associations between the State and private companies in El Salvador has been in effect, not a single infrastructure project has been able to materialize using this business scheme.

Although there are at least seven infrastructure projects that were initially proposed as being those with the highest priority and ideals to be developed under the public-private partnership scheme and with funding from Fomilenio II, none of them has managed to materialize. 

Public-Private Partnerships: Successes and Failures

August 2015

A publication by the CAF reviews the development of five projects implemented using the public-private partnership model for infrastructure investment in Latin America.

From the Presentation document by the Development Bank of Latin America (CAF):

In recent decades, many Latin American countries have launched public-private partnership projects for the construction, maintenance and operation of public infrastructure.

Public-Private Partnerships Needed in Costa Rica

February 2013

The Costa Rican government currently lacks the ability to solve, by itself, the problem of public infrastructure that has been neglected for many years.

An opinion piece by Carlos Camacho, published in Elfinancierocr.com highlights the delay in addressing problems in Costa Rica public infrastructure, a problem that directly affects the country's competitiveness, and gives the example that in the Competitiveness Report by the World Economic Forum 2012-2013, Costa Rica in infrastructure "received a score of 3.8 out of 7, and on the same subject in the overall ranking was ranked 74 out of 144, however, in the category of ‘Road Quality', Costa Rica was ranked 131 out of 144, and in 'Port Infrastructure ', 140 out of 144. Infrastructure is the second most problematic factor for doing business in the country, just ahead of the problem of state bureaucracy. "

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