The lowest unemployment
The most recent report from the International Labor Organization (ILO) points out that Costa Rica has the lowest rate of unemployment in Latin America and the Caribbean. According to the statistics disclosed in Peru, through July 2007, Costa Rica reported a 4.8 percent rate of unemployment, below the ones for 22 other countries. The closest rate is that of Mexico, at 4.9 percent, followed by Chile at 7.1 percent, Panama 7.7 percent, and Argentina, 9.2 percent. The nation with the highest rate of unemployment in Latin America is Colombia, at 12 percent. The ILO report remarks that the Costa Rican rate decreased from 6 percent in 2006 to 4.8 percent last year, and that women were the most favored group. Minister of Housing and War against Poverty Fernando Zumbado pointed out that the economic growth experienced by the nation has been the key to the expansion of employment.
Donations are going
The generous Scandinavian countries, the Agency for International Development, the World Bank, and cooperation from Canada, as well as the Taiwanese, have left Costa Rica with their stories as the leading donors to this Central American nation. The Dutch, the Swedish, and the Germans are soon to leave and take with them the accounts for the so-called “non-reimbursable financial cooperation”; donations, in short. Non-reimbursable cooperation for Costa Rica decreased by 17.65 percent since 1990; meanwhile, the world rate was 5.33 percent, according to the Ministry of Planning. Analysts explain that this nation is a victim of her own success, as compared to neighboring countries, and that donors see it as a “graduate” in development, in spite of its underdeveloped features.
The United States tourist sector chose Costa Rica as the number one tourist destination in Latin America in 2007. Magazine Travel Weekly delivered the award to Minister of Tourism Carlos Benavides at the International Tourism Fair, held in Spain. It is the third year that Costa Rica receives the honor, after it had done so in 2004 and 2006. The choice was made by 180,000 readers linked to the industry and belonging to organizations such as travel agencies, hotels, tour operators, etc.
The Costa Rican Board of Tourism (ICT in Spanish) will launch an aggressive advertising and marketing campaign, in fears of the impact on tourism of recession in the United States. Costa Rican Minister of Tourism Carlos Benavides said that $14 million will be allocated to that end. This amount is double the overall budget for the year 2007. The aim in the United States is to promote Costa Rica as an exotic destination, one that is closer to the U.S. and not expensive, in comparison to Thailand and other Asian countries. Visitors from the U.S. represented 54 percent of the overall 1.9 million tourists who came to Costa Rica last year.
A tuna boat of Panamanian registry was caught while illegally fishing in the protected waters off Cocos Island National Park, in the Pacific Ocean. The crew was forced to release 12 tons of live fish it already had aboard, according to Ministry of the Environment and Coast Guard officials who partook in the operation. The Proteus, a boat belonging to the non-profit environmentalist Marviva Foundation, escorted the Tiuna and her 25-men crew to Puntarenas, where the crew will face indictment and the boat will be kept until a fine estimated at $5 million is paid.
The Ombudsman’s Office is currently keeping an eye on the Ostional Wildlife Refuge, on the Costa Rican Pacific, intent on enforcing to their outmost the rules that protect the parrot turtle, which spawns at that site. This is so after complaints of egg exploitation have not been successful in attaining indictments as a result of poor handling of the evidence.
U.S. firm Emerson Process Systems & Solutions is to open in Costa Rica its first center of engineering and design in Latin America. In order to do so, it is hiring 20 engineers and is planning to add another 180 along the next five years. High added value investments, such as Emerson’s, are the ones Costa Rica is focusing on now, according to Government sources.
A tuna boat of Panamanian registry was caught while illegally fishing in the protected waters off Cocos Island National Park, in the Pacific Ocean
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