American Airlines Flight # 971 Depart Miami May 7, 9:45 AM Arrive San Jose 10:35 AM
Costa Rica Population: 4,253,877 Size: 19,560 square miles (one-third the size of Florida) Capital: San Jose Languages: Spanish (official), English
Government Structure: Democratic Republic President: Óscar Arias Sánchez President from 1986 – 1990, and from 2006 to present Winner of 1987 Nobel Peace Price for negotiating the end of the civil wars in Nicaragua and El Salvador Government
Economic Statistics Gross Domestic Product: $45.8 Billion (U.S. Dollars) GDP Per Capita PPI-Adjusted: $10,300 GDP Real Growth: 6.8% Unemployment: 6.4% (2010) Inflation: 9.4% Trade Balance: -$2.68 Billion Foreign Reserves: $2.31 Billion
Major Costa Rican Industries Coffee Eco-Tourism Bananas Pineapples Papayas Wood Carvings
Famous Costa Rican Brands Café Britt Imperial TACA
Costa Rica does not have an Army per its constitution San Jose is only a 2½ hour flight from Florida It is 74 miles between the Pacific Ocean and Caribbean Sea (Atlantic Ocean) Interesting Facts
Volcano Arenal erupted in 1968, and is still active today, erupting approximately every 10 minutes. Its lava heats the rainwater that forms many hot springs.
There are hot springs throughout Costa Rica, such as the Tabacon Hot Springs shown here
Canopy Tours were started in Costa Rica and involve flying 120 feet over the rainforest tied to a rope.
A food tax of 13% and a service charge of 10% are added to restaurant bills. Internet cafes abound, at around 500 colones ($1.00) per hour Taxis are inexpensive (3000 colones or $6 to the city center) Drinking Age: 18 Gambling Age: 18 Departure Tax: $26 (paid upon departure at airport)
What are some of the biggest trade disputes between the U.S. and Latin America? Many countries, like Brazil, claim that U.S. farm subsidies are unfair. They claim the U.S. government prevents their agricultural products from being exported to the U.S. The WTO recently sided with Brazil on cotton subsidies The U.S. counters that Latin American countries do not protect IPR enough, which also amounts to unfair trade These disputes largely resulted in the failure of the FTAA Trade Disputes
Major Trade Agreements in North/South America: NAFTA: U.S., Mexico, Canada Mercosur: Argentina, Brazil, Uruguary, Paraguay, with associate members Chile, Bolivia, Ecuador, Peru, Columbia DR-CAFTA: Dominican Republic, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and U.S. CARICOM: Bahamas, Jamaica, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Guyana, St. Lucia, Trinidad & Tobago, St. Vincent, St. Kitts FTAA: Does not exist, but would integrate all 34 countries Economic Integration
Development Strategies Export-oriented markets vs. import substitution: –Export-oriented countries such as Costa Rica have low trade protection, and a strong emphasis on trade –Import-substitution countries was common in South American countries in the 80s and 90s; the idea was self-reliance by promoting industrial development and restricting trade Costa Rica has a low overall average tariff rate of 3.8% By ratifying DR-CAFTA, over 80% of goods are now traded without trade restrictions
Foreign Direct Investment: $653 million inward investment in 2006 $5.1 billion in total assets owned by foreigners Foreign companies treated as domestic companies No restrictions on land ownership, capital flows, and foreign exchange 12 free trade export zones Top income tax bracket = 25% and top corporate tax bracket = 30% Immigration: 90% from Nicaragua; illegal immigration is a problem Factor Mobility in Costa Rica
Price controls on state-controlled industries (oil, telecom, energy, & water) Government-owned banks control 58% of assets in Costa Rica Slow judicial system and poor property rights enforcement Moderate corruption index (46 of 180 Transparency International ranking; USA is ranked 20 th ) Very small capital (stock) market Key Economic Obstacles of Costa Rica