• Costa Rica Coffee Guide

Panama Wants to Surpass Costa Rica

April 27, 2007

Costa Rica’s neighbor to the south wants to surpass Costa Rica to become the second most competitive country in Latin America.

Nearly two years ago, Panama created an Innovation Secretary, a department that works closely with President Martin Torrijos to use technology to simplify or eliminate bureaucratic processes that tangle businesses in red tape. Innovation Secretary Gaspar Tarté recently told Costa Rica’s daily La Nación that the country plans to become the second most competitive Latin American country behind Chile in the annual World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report.

Panama, which attracted 32 new tourism projects worth $710 million last year, also hopes to surpass Costa Rica’s 1.6 million tourists it received in 2006.

In January, Panama’s Congress approved a law to speed up the opening of a business. The legislation eliminated the entire process of requesting permits prior to opening a business, and instead puts the business in charge of informing the government, via Internet, of the business’s opening and the company’s plans to meet requirements. The institutions are then responsible for visiting each business to make sure they meet the requirement.

According to the World Bank’s “Doing Business 2007” report released last year, it takes an average of 77 days to start up a business in Costa Rica – twice as long as it takes in El Salvador, Guatemala or Nicaragua. Costa Rica, which dropped five notches to 105 among 175 countries, trails behind Panama, El Salvador and Nicaragua in that report, which analyzes each country’s business climate (TT, March 16).

In Panama, which was home to $1.2 billion in new construction projects last year, citizens are able to take care of 2,200 bureaucratic processes online, from getting a driver’s license to Customs processes. Businesses there can also get contracts authorized online.

 

You may be interested

PAHO urges countries not to require coronavirus tests from travelers
Latin America
1528 views
Latin America
1528 views

PAHO urges countries not to require coronavirus tests from travelers

AFP - November 27, 2020

The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) urged countries not to require coronavirus tests from travelers, saying they give a "false…

Eta and Iota left 200 dead, millions in financial losses across Central America
Costa Rica
72 views
Costa Rica
72 views

Eta and Iota left 200 dead, millions in financial losses across Central America

AFP - November 27, 2020

Hurricanes Eta and Iota, which hit Central America this month, left at least 200 confirmed dead and as many missing,…

Costa Rica offering all-expenses-paid vacations: How to enter
Costa Rica
16 views
Costa Rica
16 views

Costa Rica offering all-expenses-paid vacations: How to enter

Alejandro Zúñiga - November 26, 2020

Costa Rica is offering all-expenses-paid vacations for U.S. and Canadian residents who have found life’s essentials during what has been…