Tuesday 28 September 2021

Doing Business in Costa Rica Is More Difficult, Study Reveals

The biggest challenge (roadblock) to doing business in Costa Rica is bureaucracy. The latest report shows 45% of business activity in the country is "informal".

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The biggest challenge (roadblock) to doing business in Costa Rica is bureaucracy. The latest report shows 45% of business activity in the country is “informal”.

Eight out of ten entrepreneurs claim that an excess of formalities and the high costs of formalization are the main difficulties they face when starting a business in the country.

From a statement issued by the Costa Rican Union of Chambers and Associations of the Private Business Sector (UCCAEP) on Thursday (28 September 2017), setting up a business in Costa Rica and operating formally and under the protection of the law – that is legally – is becoming more difficult for entrepreneurs.

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This was revealed by the Third Quarterly Business Survey “Pulso Empresarial”, carried out by the UCCAEP.

When asked “how difficult is it to start a new business in Costa Rica”, 75% of those consulted said that it was difficult or very difficult to start a business; in addition, 65% stated that it was very costly to comply with the administrative requirements established to formalize it.

In the view of Franco Arturo Pacheco, president of UCCAEP, this is further evidence of why the informal sector is so large in the country, representing 45% of the economically active population.

Pacheco added that his group is working on a series of reforms that seek to encourage workers in the informal sector to “move to the formality of work, in compliance with national legislation”.

The study also shows the conditions for access to productive credit in colones or dollars are not the most favorable.

The entrepreneurs explained that the factors that most hinder access to productive credit are the formalities, interest rates and guarantees requested by banks.

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The survey also details that the confidence and general perception of entrepreneurs fell compared to the previous study.

The Business Perceptions Index (IEP) stands at 5.93; while the Business Confidence Index (CPI) at 6.43 (on a scale ranging from 0 to 10). The drop in both indicators could be related to the uncertainty due to the presidential elections next year, in addition to the slowdown in some sectors of the economy.

Following is the full release (in Spanish).

28 setiembre del 2017. Abrir un negocio en Costa Rica y operar en la formalidad y al amparo de la ley, cada vez es más dificultoso para los empresarios. Así lo revela la III Encuesta Trimestral de Negocios “Pulso Empresarial”, realizada por la Unión Costarricense de Cámaras y Asociaciones del Sector Empresarial Privado (UCCAEP).

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Ante la pregunta “cuán difícil es empezar un negocio nuevo en Costa Rica”, el 75% de los consultados aseguró que era difícil o muy difícil la apertura de una empresa; además, el 65% afirmó que era muy costoso cumplir con los requisitos administrativos que se establecen para formalizarla.

Para Franco Arturo Pacheco, presidente de UCCAEP, esto es una evidencia más del por qué el sector informal es tan grande en el país, dado que representa un 45% de la población económicamente activa.

“La línea del sector empresarial es buscar las mejores condiciones económicas y legales para que los trabajadores puedan desarrollar empresas sostenibles; por eso, estamos trabajando en una serie de reformas que buscan incentivar a los trabajadores que se encuentran en la informalidad para que se pasen a la formalidad laboral, cumpliendo con la legislación nacional”, expresó Pacheco.

El estudio “Pulso Empresarial” también demuestra cómo las condiciones para acceder a crédito productivo en colones en las empresas no son las más favorables, pues el 19% de los empresarios aseguró que han empeorado y solo un 13% dicen que mejoraron en relación al año anterior. El 48% manifestó que la situación es la misma.

Lo mismo ocurre con el acceso a los préstamos para producir en dólares, pues el 21% dice que se dificultó, un 44% que se mantienen igual y solo un 12% que se mejoró.
Los empresarios explicaron que los factores que más dificultan el acceso a crédito productivo son los trámites de formalización, las tasas de interés y las garantías que solicitan las entidades bancarias.

La encuesta también detalla que la confianza y la percepción general de los empresarios bajó en comparación con el estudio anterior. El Índice Empresarial de Percepción (IEP) se ubica en 5,93; mientras que el Índice Empresarial de Confianza (IPC) en 6,43 (en una escala que va de 0 a 10). La baja en ambos indicadores podría estar relacionada a la incertidumbre por la llegada de un nuevo periodo electoral, además de la desaceleración en algunos sectores de la economía.

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