The Costa Rica News (TCRN) – The Chamber of Exporters of Costa Rica (Cadexco) described 2013 as “difficult” due to minimal growth of foreign sales, and they anticipate that 2014 will be similar with a forecast rise of 5% for the export year.

“It has been a difficult year, with strong economic downturn, and is a wake up call for the authorities to do something,” said the President of Cadexco, Monica Segnini.

Cadexco data indicates that 2013 will close with goods exports of about $11.371 million, representing a very small growth compared to $11.343 million recorded in 2012.

The agricultural sector is the one that has been most affected with a 7% drop in sales abroad, mainly by low international coffee prices and the plague of rust fungus that has affected most of the country’s coffee.

Among the main reasons for the stagnation of exports, Cadexco recognizes the low economic growth in the U.S. and Europe, but also states internal affairs.

Internal problems affecting exports are devaluation of the colon, the local currency, the “chaos” of the infrastructure of roads and ports, as well as excessive paperwork, high electricity tariffs and difficulties in access to credit for the small producer.

“The country has reached a state of chaos in infrastructure that affects the economy through loss of competitiveness. Costa Rica has become very expensive to produce in and there are companies that are looking to invest elsewhere or go to Costa Rica,” said Segnini .

According to the entrepreneur, electricity rates have risen 30% in recent years and the poor quality of roads and ports creates rising production costs, as well as the appreciation of the colon.

By 2014, Segnini said, it is forecast exports will grow 5%, as long as the United States grows at anticipated levels, Europe will remain stable and that the Chinese economy will slow sharply. (EFE)

The Costa Rica News (TCRN)

San Jose Costa Rica