Monday 29 May 2023

Government of Rodrigo Chaves breaks the agreement with CINDE

The objective is to generate jobs and investment outside the GAM. From now on, the Costa Rican Foreign Trade Promoter (PROCOMER) will be in charge of attracting foreign investment to the country.

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QCOSTARICA – With the objective of generating jobs outside the Greater Metropolitan Area (GAM), the government of Rodrigo Chaves decided to break the cooperation agreement with the Coalición de Iniciativas de Desarrollo (CINDE) – Costa Rican Coalition of Development Initiative.

Pedro Beirute (left) of Procomer and Minister of Foreign Trade Manuel Tovar during Wednesday’s press conference

The reasons for this decision were announced on Wednesday by the Ministro de Comercio Exterior (Minister of Foreign Trade), Manuel Tovar, at a press conference at Casa Presidencial.

The Minister pointed out that the organization owes a debt to the country and that it would be “shameful” for the government to maintain an agreement that does not generate jobs outside the main cities of the country.

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“Wonderful things have been done with CINDE, but there are debts, last year, only 4% of the new jobs were generated outside the GAM and I wonder, where do the most vulnerable populations in the country reside? You have to generate those opportunities in Buenos Aires, Pital, and Golfito. It would be shameful for us to go down in history as a government that did not generate employment opportunities outside of the GAM,” said Tovar.

“Investment comes to Costa Rica. It does not come through Cinde, through Procomer; It comes because of the incentives that the country offers”, the Minister pointed out after terminating the alliance alleging budgetary problems to contribute state resources to the investment attraction program.

“Costa Rica is chosen for its human talent, for its adherence to the law, for human rights, for democracy, for the intangible incentives that today play a key role in attracting investment and, of course, for the tax incentives within the free zones”, declared Tovar.

A day earlier, in his address to the Legislative Assembly, President Rodrigo Chaves praised the work of the CINDE in the work report delivered to the Legislative Assembly, while, on the same day, his administration notified CINDE of the decision to unilaterally break the agreement to attract foreign investment.

Chaves, in his report, cited the signing of the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with Ecuador as an example of the cooperative alliance between the COMEX, PROCOMER and CINDE.

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From now on, the Costa Rican Foreign Trade Promoter (PROCOMER) will be in charge of attracting foreign investment to the country.

“Because of the efficiency of resources, the projection and the capacity that PROCOMER has, due to its experience and work that it has already been doing, we consider that this institution is qualified to carry out the work that corresponds to it by law. PROCOMER has many resources to attend to this task, we have 27 offices around the world and we are going to review that list of representations, in light of the new markets that we are looking for”, added Tovar.

By 2022, the companies attracted by CINDE for 40 years have generated 181,000 direct jobs and some 74,000 indirect jobs, according to the organization.

Only last year, more than 25,000 jobs were generated, which implied an increase of 12% compared to 2021.

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The organization explained that there are a total of 36 multinational companies operating in communities outside the GAM, such as Cóbano, Siquirres, Santa Cruz, Liberia, Pérez Zeledón, Turrialba, Orotina, Limón, Nicoya, and San Carlos.

“At CINDE we have maintained an open conversation with the Government, always with the spirit that has characterized us of collaboration for the development of the country. We received communication from Comex (Ministerio de Comercio Exterior de Costa Rica – Ministry of Foreign Trade) of the unilateral rescission of the cooperation agreement and its respective financing. CINDE will continue to contribute to the country and we are confident that we will find a resolution route and that we will continue to impact employment, linkages, technology transfer, the development of communities outside of GAM and the training of talent,” said Eric Scharf, president of CINDE’s board of directors


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