San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Costa Rican ‘Economic Miracle’ Readies to Meet High Goals

The Chinchilla administration announced its financial goals for the next four years Monday, June 28, saying it is aiming for $9 billion in foreign investment and $17 billion in exports.

“Costa Rica has been one of the most successful countries in Latin America in terms of foreign investment,” said President Laura Chinchilla, calling her country an “economic miracle.”

Chinchilla said that for each million dollars of foreign investment, at least 17 direct jobs are created.

“We have to understand that a united platform in favor of foreign investment and production of exports gives us not only access to markets, but also better levels of competition and higher economic welfare,” she said.

Foreign investment has increased an average of 12 percent each year since 1990, but fell by 34 percent last year during the crisis. Former President Oscar Arias is credited with a 132 percent overall increase in foreign investment during his second four-year term, which ended this year.

Foreign Trade Minister Anabel Gonzaléz pointed to the telecommunications, tourism and energy sectors as some of the most promising target areas for investment.

Not only is Chinchilla looking to attract more money into Costa Rica, but she is also working to increase the country’s exports by 22 percent during her term. For each percentage-point increase in exports, she said, 7,500 jobs are created.

Chinchilla said her administration will focus on improving infrastructure, streamlining regulations and continuing to educate the labor force to meet the goals. She stressed that reaching these targets will be feasible largely due to the recently signed trade agreements with Europe, China and the United States.

–Chrissie Long

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