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Costa Rica is Second in Latin America in Competitiveness

2017-10-15
by Gabriel Azuaje

Through improvements in health and education, Costa Rica scaled seven places in the Global Competitiveness Report 2017-2018, which evaluates countries in social progress. In this way, Costa Rica reaches the 47th position in the world and second in Latin America, above Panama, Mexico and Colombia, according to the World Economic Forum.

Both health and education achieved a joint assessment of 6.2 points and highlighted life expectancy, respiratory disease control, and infant mortality; the quality of the system and the high enrollment rate stand out in the educational aspect.

The process of joining the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has also contributed to this improvement; this international body approved the country’s advances in education and health, along with the science and technology, innovation and labor policies sectors.

Costa Rica” also gained outstanding ratings on mobile Internet availability, attracting foreign capital, technology transfer and sophistication of the business environment due to the most recent structural changes in the country, a consequence of two milestones: the liberation of the economy and the approval of the Free Trade Agreement with the United States, which brought greater trade openness and foreign investment, “said Víctor Umaña, Director of Competitiveness and Sustainable Development of INCAE.

Costa Rica also earned outstanding ratings on mobile Internet availability, attracting foreign capital, technology transfer and sophistication of the business environment.

The figures take more force when looking at the neighbors of the isthmus: Panama in the 50th position, Guatemala in the 84, Nicaragua in the 93, Honduras in the 96 and El Salvador in the 109.

Nevertheless, the same weaknesses that have been headaches for this and previous governments remain fiscal situation, bureaucracy, infrastructure, corruption and citizen security.

Reforming and ordering tax collection policies, managing a better urban mobility system, are two of the challenges that will run the next president.

“The rebound of Costa Rica should not cause us to launch bells on the air because we have a fiscal deficit projected to 6.1% of the Gross Domestic Product; in business opening or business efficiency, we are after the 100th position; if this does not improve we will not see any progress in the overall index, “said Francisco Gamboa, executive director of the Chamber of Industries.

Globally, Switzerland is the most competitive country with a weighted assessment of 5.8%, followed by the United States and Singapore.

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