Commercial activity grew in 2016 driven by subsectors such as automobiles, although brakes were still encountered such as growing informality, smuggling and bureaucracy in health and safety records.
At the end of the year, the commercial sector has maintained its relevance for the country ‘s economy and has become the main generator of employment, with 15% of the total laboUr force, according to the balance complied by the Chamber of Commerce of Costa Rica (Camara de comercio de Costa Rica).
However, the union warns of the effect of growth of informality and the negative effect of smuggling. In a statement the Chamber explained that the country loses up to US$100 million annually in tax revenues because of smuggling, that delays in (both new and renewal) health and safety registrations involve costs for companies, on average, of US$40,000 per month, and in the last three years difficulties have increased in reaping the benefits of the FTA, because of errors in substance.
From a statement issued by the Chamber of Commerce of Costa Rica:
The commercial sector in 2016 shows significant economic growth and has become the main generator of new jobs.
“It remains the cause of the most jobs created, with 248,890 workers, representing 15% of the total workforce. It contributes 19% to social security, making it the main contributor. It is very dynamic and significant in the economy, it contributes 9.1% to gross domestic product,” said Yolanda Fernandez, President of the Chamber of Commerce of Costa Rica.