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San José 2015 Blog: Costa Rican Foreign Trade Minister Alexander Mora

(Image: Costa Rica's Ministry of Foreign Trade)

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Speaker:

  • Alexander Mora, Minister of Foreign Trade, Costa Rica

Costa Rica has come a long way in the last 30 years, in large part due to the country adopting an open-economy model, said the minister at remarks that closed the AS/COA San José conference. Today, Costa Rica has one of the most competitive markets in Latin America and ranks first in innovation in the region, said Mora, citing data from the World Economic Forum. But the country has to rev up its investment and education numbers to combat a decelerating global economy.

Though Costa Rica is a regional leader when it comes to the availability of scientists and engineers, more students are dropping out, said Mora. As such, the government is working on an education reform that will require all university programs to be accredited within five years according to international standards.

Foreign direct investment, which fell 21 percent in 2014, is another challenge for Costa Rica. "The global flow of investment has been falling in recent years, and the competition to attract investment is becoming more fierce and more demanding," said Mora. However, the country has a 70 percent rate of reinvestment.

Watch the minister's speech.