San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

New Gov’t Organization To Seek Foreign Investment

PRESIDENT Abel Pacheco andForeign Trade Minister Manuel Gonzálezlast week signed a decree creating theInvestment and Cooperation Administration,a new government agency that willcoordinate efforts to attract direct foreigninvestment.“The time has come for the publicsector to assume a proactive role inattracting and facilitating investments inCosta Rica,” Pacheco said May 26 atCasa Presidencial after signing the decreethat created the administration. “It’s notabout displacing or substituting privateefforts in this field, but of complementing,articulating and strengthening themwith… actions of the state.”Rafael Ángel Ramírez, former executivedirector of the InternationalCommittee of Free Zones of theAmericas, will head the new agency,which will be supervised by the ForeignTrade Ministry.According to Trade MinisterGonzález, one of the organization’s firsttasks will be to define a public policy forattracting investment in the absence ofWorld Trade Organization (WTO) taxbreaks for foreign businesses, set toexpire in 2008. The agency will also“establish a support network… for bothnational and foreign investors, once theyare established in Costa Rica; a networkthat will facilitate the consolidation andexpansion of their operations here,”González added.González said the new organizationwill work closely with the private CostaRican Investment Promotion Agency(CINDE).Thanks in part to private efforts –CINDE generated $329.5 million of2004’s total foreign direct investment of$597, according to the agency – CostaRica’s foreign direct investment averaged$531 million between 1997 and 2004,making Costa Rica one of the principalper-capita recipients in Latin America,González said.

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