(qCOSTARICA) A possible deterioration in employment opportunities, particularly among the poorest areas of the country, has President Luis Guillermo Solis worried.
He expressed his concern on Friday, after learning of the Banco Central’s (Central Bank) 2015 national economy growth projections dropping from a forecasted 3.4% to an expected 2.8%.
Solis said this occurs due to the effect of climate in agricultural areas, the consequences of the changes made by Intel and low public investment.
The last factor, the President recognizes it as part of his responsibility, admitting “insufficient” the efforts of his government of 15 months.
Although “responsibility always falls on the government”, the President noted that the factors threatening the national economy “are not attributable to the economic policies of his administration.”
Disturbing for the President, is the deficit, which is now 5.9% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) – Producto Interno Bruto (PIB) in Spanish.
Solis said that if the Legislative Assembly does not approve the tax laws, the deficit could reach 6.5% next year and continue to increase “up to 17% or 18%”.
Currently, Costa Rica’s unemployment rate is “a little over 10%, but we know it is much higher in the rural areas”, said President Solis.
“Employment will not improve substantially. There will be a strong effect in the area of less skilled jobs, in pineapple and banana plantations, but also squash, papaya and milk. This overwhelms us,” admitted the president about one of the issues that most worries people, according to surveys.
“I do not see mistrust,” said Solis after the breakfast meeting at the Real Continental with the businesses service sector, organized by the Costa Rican Coalition for Development Initiatives (CINDE).
“Foreign investment has confidence in Costa Rica; its present, its growing and projections are for continued growth,” said Jose Rossi, president of CINDE.
In closing, President Solis highlighted the growth in the tourism sector up to 11% and said he will continue to participate in missions organized by the CINDE to attract international investment, as he done until now.