(qCOSTARICA) Once again the Presidency (Casa Presidencial) has spoken out to calm investors denying the insinuations of a Deputy Minister related to opening up the discussion on “zona franacas” – free trade zone regime.
According to an article in Crhoy.com, the Deputy Minister of Labour, Harold Villegas, mentioned in the framework of the International Forum of Social Solidarity Economy that “as a society we should discuss the activities that should or should not be tax-free and although free zones functioned well in a moment of history, it’s time to move towards a system of greater tax justice and for a more open discussion to take place. ”
Cries of alarm rose immediately from the business sector : Francisco Llobet, President of the Chamber of Commerce of Costa Rica, said that “… This system has allowed us to increase exports and although in the past administration of Laura Chinchilla, Otton Solis put the issue on the table and a lot of companies left it should not be discussed again. It is much more difficult to attract free zone businesses because other Central American countries are offering more benefits. ”
Now President Luis Guillermo Solis has “… discredited Villegas’ assertions and said the only speaker in his administration authorized to discuss this matter is the minister of Foreign Trade, Alexander Mora” ,,, adding “… Free zones are a very important instrument for attracting increased investment flows and generating more and better sources of employment, in light of the complex international situation in which countries improve their capacity to attract high value investment and even offer more aggressive benefits that the country is in a position to bestow. ”