The Chamber of Exporters of Costa Rica reported today that although the sector grew between January and November of 2018, the crisis in Nicaragua affected the companies of the definitive regime, which are those located outside free trade zones.
At the end of last November, Costa Rican exports of goods increased by 7 percent for a total of 10,479 million dollars, and the free zone companies showed a rebound of 13 percent.
However, the Chamber was concerned that the performance of the definitive export regime showed a growth of only 1 percent and began to have significant drops since the beginning of the socio-political crisis that neighbor Nicaragua has experienced since April.
"At the beginning of the year it was growing between 6 and 8 percent, but it started to slow down after the crisis in Nicaragua and also the strike against the fiscal plan (in Costa Rica). numbers would be different, "said House Speaker Laura Bonilla.
According to exporters, unlike free zones, the definitive export regime is made up of a greater number of companies, has more diversification of products, is concentrated in rural areas and employs a large part of the labor of these areas .
The Chamber revealed that the definitive export regime began growing in January, February, March and April between 8 and 6 percent and starting in June began to fall with a growth of only 3 percent, in July and August of 4 percent, September 3 percent and October 2 percent.
90% of Costa Rica's exports to Central America are made by land, and the closure of roads by protests against the Government in Nicaragua slowed the passage of products.
The figures indicate that last July there was a reduction of exports of 53 million dollars, in comparison with the same month of the previous year.
Nicaragua is experiencing a social and political crisis that has generated protests against the government of President Daniel Ortega and a balance of between 325 and 545 deaths, according to local and foreign human rights organizations, while the Executive figure in 199 deaths
For Costa Rican exporters, the threat in Nicaragua continues, so they urge to operate the ferry with El Salvador for the transport of goods, as well as to improve the infrastructure of the Caldera Port, in the central Pacific, to have containment measures.
Among other challenges, the export sector highlighted the need to improve export security, facilitate access to financing, diversify markets, reduce paperwork and high production costs, especially electricity tariffs.