Saturday 25 September 2021

The Pacific Alliance. What Can It Hurt?

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Many times those who have tasted victory, be it in politics, business, acting or sport just need to retire as gracefully as possible.

A few years back I would have said that to Tiger Woods, but now…he showed me up and I am dead wrong and realize how little I know about golf.

PäscificasllianceIn Tennis, my idol, King Rodger Federer has reached that level of play where I shed a tear and wish him well all the while knowing the likelihood of one more Gand Slam is remote.

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It is sort of like expecting the perennial favorites, Los Angeles Lakers to win the play offs. “It ain’t gonna happen no matter how many candles I light.”

And still the scandals can be soon forgotten for more scandals. I think it is time for doña Laura Chincilla, Presidenta Chinchilla to step down.

In summary, under her direction the country is a “mess”.

Certainly we can cheer some victories such as to become the tiny member of the Pacific Alliance. We, as a nation will work with Colombia, Mexico, Peru and Chile in an economic, albeit political, alliance which will focus its monetary efforts on Asia. However, our 4.2 million population really has a difficult time joining the 210 million people club and getting respect. The other members of the Pacific Alliance represent roughly 52+ million each.

Looking to the East, that is Asia as the source of income on exports simply repeats Costa Rica’s already most favored state relationship, especially for the one country never actually mentioned in the press by the Alliance: China.

Am I against this new membership?

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“Not at all.”

What can it hurt and besides in the “Game of Thrones” it is the dwarf who calls the shots and Costa Rica is the dwarf in this case.

Think about it, Carlos Slim of Mexico who bounces between #1 and #2 as the richest person in the world could buy and support Costa Rica for ten years without ever getting past his tax deductions. (I wish he would help us out)

A major issue facing Johnny Araya, the likely next president of Costa Rica according to all the polls, is he supporting neoliberalism or not? The concept of Costa Rica in free trade agreements, the free market (when convenient) or does he have his own agenda as a liberal?

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Certainly it is possible to support a percentage of both camps. But one will eventually take over the other no matter how slight. Keep in mind that the major or largest technology industries in Costa Rica are already exporting tax free. Meaning, they do not pay national taxes and their only benefit to the country is to employ people:  Very valuable indeed but being a member of the Alliance will not improve the sales or the employment of an INTEL nor any of the hundreds of sports books and casinos in Costa Rica.

The point being (a) I am not sure how becoming a member of the Pacific Alliance, other than pride, is going to help our economy and (2) being the dwarf in this group of giants makes little political sense.

While not against belonging, I am not going to open a bottle champagne either.

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Juan Sebastian Campos
An expat from the U.S., educator and writer in English and Spanish since 1978 with a doctorate in business administrations (DBA) from the United States and Germany. A feature writer for ABC News, Copley Press and the Tribune Group with emphasis on Central America.

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