Puntarenas and Beijing Soon-To-Be Sister Cities

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    The Costa Rica News (TCRN) – The construction of a dock that allows port development in Punta Morales, a smart Costa Rican city with 2,000 homes will be generating between 7,000 to 11,000 jobs as part of the City Beijing Project that is being designed since and will be submitted to the authorities in China by the Municipality of Puntarenas.

    “We know that this is part of an initiative that had the last administration of Laura Chinchilla and we do not know for sure what the intention of the new president, Luis Guillermo Solis, is however, everything is designed and we have the support of the mayor of Puntarenas, Rafael Angel Rodriguez, who has given his support to this project,” commented former mayor and one of the main negotiators with China, Juan Luis Bolaños.

    He is currently advisor to the mayor, however, it is clear that the intention is “not to give away anything the Chinese do, the only thing they want to do is business.”

    From his point of view, the main strength that has Puntarenas, is that it can serve China from the Mega port and becomes the movement of their goods to other parts of the world.

    Bolaños confirmed that they are not interested in building duty-free zones, but a mega port is governed by international bodies and generates more jobs and development to the province.

    The initiative to build a Special Chinese Economic Zone (SEZ) in Costa Rica was created in August 2012 when a Framework Agreement between the Ministry of Foreign Trade and the China Development Bank (CDB) was signed.

    The feasibility study should have been released since January 2014, but was delayed in gathering information and was announced in April 28, 2014.

    The EEZ is a kind of duty-free zone but larger, a system in which China has a lot of experience.

    In addition to Puntarenas, the Chinese resaerch situated at other places near the Cuajiniquil port, in the North Pacific, and others between the ports of Limon and Moin as possible locations for an EEZ.

    Minister of Foreign Trade, Alexander Mora, mentioned that productive investment projects which the government could work on with the Asian country, are being analyzed and once determined with wich will be progressed, it will be communicated to the public.

    “Comex is having meetings with embassy staff to discuss the project and so far we know nothing about the “mega-port in Punta Morales.”

    Puntarenas will sign with China agreement of Sister Cities

    On 21 and 22 July, Puntarenas City Council will meet with officials from the Chinese Embassy in Costa Rica and senior diplomats of that country to sign the agreement “Sister Cities”.

    This agreement, according to Bolaños, allows for cooperation to promote cultural exchange and at that time, that delegation will deliver a project with a soft loan (low interest rate) is allowed to build a new building for the City of Puntarenas, which is in poor condition since the earthquake of Nicoya.

    Funding will be five billion colones, 3,000 million for the building and 2,000 million for the purchase of furniture.

    The former mayor explained that this request is just starting and one needs to hear what the position of the Chinese delegation will be.

    The Costa Rica News (TCRN)

    San Jose, Costa Rica

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