In Costa Rica, the commercial sector faces major challenges such as informality and unemployment; and the country’s fiscal situation does not improve the picture. Expectations are worrisome.

Yolanda Fernández, president of the Chamber of Commerce of Costa Rica

Businessmen in the sector do not clearly see what the economic direction of the country will be.

The president of the Chamber of Commerce of Costa Rica, Yolanda Fernández, was emphatic in ensuring that she does not see clarity in the direction of the measures proposed by the government to deal with the situation.

When asked about her vision of the coming years for the country’s economy, Fernández said that urgent measures must be taken even if they are not “popular.”

The proportion of unemployed in the country closed upwards in 2019, the unemployment rate rising from 11.4% to 12.4% between the third and fourth quarters, an increase that can be explained partly by the rise in unemployment in women.

Another aspect that concerns the directors of the Costa Rican Chamber of Commerce is that many small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) operate in the informal sector.

Regarding the actions of the government, Fernández told that “… I do not see clarity; I would like to be able to say that there is clarity in what is going to happen. Taking action is not popular, one cannot access any decision-making position in Costa Rica to be popular.”

Fernandez added that “… The streets are full of informality. That is the critique, we try to tell the government to listen to what we are saying. I do not see what accompaniment they are doing to the PYMEs (small and medium enterprises), and I insist on the small and medium enterprises because it is 90% of the business park in this country.”

The decrease in the minimum contribution base of the Costa Rican Social Security Fund (CCSS) as well as an amnesty for PYMEs that are in an informal mode, are the requests made to the government.

Fernandez also pointed out the difficulty for new companies to access loans to invest in their businesses.