Given the extraordinary situation and world-wide scope that has meant the emergency by COVID-19, the Government of the Republic announced the provision of ₡ 900 billion colones, with preferential rates, for the productive sector, in order to move the economy and generate employment.
This was one of the measures announced by Minister Pilar Garrido Gonzalo, coordinator of the economic team and Minister of Planning and Economic Policy, when presenting the post-COVID-19 strategic planning at a press conference in which the President of the Republic also participated. , Carlos Alvarado; the Minister of Tourism, María Amalia Revelo; the Minister of Agriculture and Livestock (MAG), Renato Alvarado; the Minister of Foreign Trade, Dyalá Jiménez; the Minister of Economy, Industry and Commerce (MEIC), Victoria Hernández; Housing Minister Irene Campos and Private Sector Minister André Garnier Kruse.
1. Injection of resources for working capital. The financial system, especially the state bank, has ₡ 900 billion for guarantees and guarantees of productive credits, with preferential rates. The resources can be used for seed capital, purchase of inputs, or for the payment of payroll. This financing is based on a directive signed today N ° 083-H-MIDEPLAN and will be of primary support for those who want to start a business, or need working capital to reopen their businesses.
2. Public investment. Public investment will be promoted with an expectation of generating 109,000 direct jobs. It is proposed to invest ₡ 3.1 trillion for 2020 and 2021, out of a total of ₡ 5.5 trillion projected for the entire administration period. Of that budget, ₡ 1.1 billion will go to public-private partnerships, between 2020 and 2021, among which the following projects stand out: expansion of Route 27 (US $ 500 million), Route 32: San José – Río (US $ 640 million), Route 1: Road Corridor San José – San Ramón (US $ 400 million), Route 2: San José – Cartago 400 (US $ 400 million) and the Electric Passenger Train (US $ 550 million).
3. Gradual reopening. The return to the new normality will contemplate a sequence of safe openings, of hotels, shops and restaurants, later international tourism and finally, massive events. In all cases, the opening and authorization protocols of the Ministry of Health will be followed and protocols for handwashing, social distancing, disinfection of areas and gauging must be integrated.
4. Support to the productive sector. As one of the steps to support the productive sector, a bill will be promoted to modernize the National Learning Institute (INA), the flexible days bill will be promoted. On the other hand, in three months the Central Bank of Costa Rica (BCCR) will issue the new regulation for the setting of dataphone commissions, according to Law 9831, recently approved.
The streamlining in 104 procedures will be promoted through sworn statements. It will advance in two phases, the first 30 days and the second two months, in which the simplification or elimination of procedures in key sectors will be intensified. In the case of the Single Investment Window (VUI), the start-up of the digitalization platform will be accelerated with 69 procedures, with priority given to those required to open a business in Costa Rica.
5. Attraction of investments and new businesses. Through the Relief Program, promoted by the Foreign Trade Promoter (PROCOMER), the INA and the Development Banking System (SBD), companies affected by the crisis will be supported, with the stabilization of the company, the conversion and the acceleration. A bill to attract pensioners to live in the country will also be presented and Costa Rica will be promoted as a destination after retirement. Another bill will be presented to allow and incentivize hemp production in the country.
During the activity the hierarchs signed the directive to declare of public interest the business activity tending to the generation of technology and new forms of prevention, attention and promotion of health promoting Costa Rica as a center of well-being, innovation and life sciences .
6. Boost to productivity. The productivity of SMEs, agriculture and tourism will be promoted with tailored programs. In June, an e-commerce platform will be launched to bring supply and demand closer together to reduce transaction costs and deepen value chains. The AGROINNOVA 4.0 program will be promoted, which encourages the use of high technology to improve productivity and sustainability in the agricultural sector, replicating it in various parts of the country. In the case of tourism, ICT will position the country as a destination after the epidemic, taking advantage of the positioning in that line in various international media.
“The actions developed in the response phase, on issues of expansive and countercyclical monetary policy, responsible and focused fiscal policy and liquidity and solvency for households and companies, allowed us to cushion the economic repercussions on households,” said the Minister of National Planning. and Economic Policy and coordinator of the Government’s Economic Council.
The Minister added that “2,180,436 credit operations were readjusted, ₡ 148,000 million in spending was cut, more than 150,000 Proteger bonds were granted. Those actions allowed us to generate stability that allows us a strong base for the recovery stage. ”
The President of the Republic, Carlos Alvarado, thanked the work done by his team and promised to continue looking for new ways to continue promoting productivity and development in the country.
“We are aware of the difficult moment that many households are experiencing and that is why today we present new measures to boost investment and generate more support for the productive sector,” emphasized the president.