Costa Rica’s Unions Strikes – Benefits & Privatization

I don't know if it is just me, but it seems like every time you turn around Costa Rica is having some sort of labor strike. Last Monday, about 2000 union workers of Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad (ICE) (government monopoly on power and light company) went on strike, and snarled traffic on several major streets in and around San Jose. They were protesting a bill in the Legislative … [Read more...]

Costa Rica and China Make Another Free Trade Deal

One of the biggest bummers in Costa Rica is their infamous import tax, a horrendous tax that is applied to so-called luxury items, such as boats, vehicles and electronics. A tax that makes these items VERY expensive. Anyone that has tried to import a vehicle knows how a $10,000 vehicle can quickly become a major investment and/or headache. However, this week may have changed that.  It is no … [Read more...]

Apple – ICE – iPhones – Costa Rica’s Newest Monopoly?

Beginning this week the new Apple, iPhone G4 will start selling in Costa Rica. Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad (ICE) the state’s telephone, and Internet monopoly, officially became the NEW monopoly distributor and exclusive seller for Apple's new iPhone G4s. Retailers who have iPhones for sale in Costa Rica, unless it is an ICE authorized agent, are not authorized by Apple to sell … [Read more...]

Are Costa Ricans Influenced by Technology? – Tech Poll

A couple of months ago the above question was asked in Yahoo answers, and even if we answered,  "yes,” and gave our reason(s), we were totally surprised that one answered, "NO." Our second surprise, it was voted best answer! Hummm ... pretty clear those people had no idea of Costa Rica's technology growth, or probably still think Costa Rica is still a, Third World Country. Five years ago, … [Read more...]

Demand for High Tech Phones and Service in Costa Rica – ICE

Last week (Feb 21th) something unspeakable in this day of age happened, around 800,000 Costa Rican's cell phone users suddenly found themselves without service. And at the same time we received a landslide of emails wondering, if this could be the beginning of the end for Instituto Costaricense de Electricidad (ICE)? An interesting question. ICE has been under threat since the signing … [Read more...]

Insurance in Costa Rica – INS – Rules of Engagement to Brokers

Every Costa Rican knows [since they can remember] the government monopoly of, oil/gas, electric, internet, and insurance has been one big headache after another. In Oct, 2007  when Costa Rica’s Free Trade Agreements (FTA) were signed,  it looked like for the first time Costa Rican’s were going to get a break, when foreign companies could compete with government companies, especially  for … [Read more...]

Alico To Sell Insurance In Costa Rica – INS Competition

It seems that  CAFTA may be working ...  for over 50 years, American Life Insurance Company  has been dedicated to working families in Canada and the US  won conditional approval this week to sell insurance in Costa Rica. This company will operate under the name of Alico Costa Rica and the license is requested for the sale of policies in the category of personal insurance, including life, … [Read more...]

Costa Rica’s Government Gets Sue by Villalobo Brothers Investors

One of the things the Free-Trade Agreement opened up was lawsuits. Somehow, you knew the attorneys also had to take advantage of this Free Trade thing. Canadian investors have sued the government of Costa Rica. If you are new to Costa Rica, starting back in the mid 1990s just about every Costa Rican knew of the Villalobo Brother's high-interest borrowing operation or just a good old fashion, … [Read more...]

Costa Rica and China – Caribbean Refinery, Investments, Bonds and Aid

Is China using its $1.8 trillion in foreign exchange reserves, the world’s largest such cache of foreign currency, to further its political and diplomatic  goals, despite promises that it would not do so? Are they using these reserves to win the support of the people, by first building the $84 million, new National Soccer Stadium in Parque La Sabana for the Costa Rica Sports and Recreation … [Read more...]

Free Trade in Costa Rica – Is it working?

Back in Oct, 2007 Costa Rica (by a close vote (53/ 47) approved a free trade agreement (FTA) with the United States. The vote split the country, with supporters arguing it would bring economic development, and critics warning (mostly labor unions) that it would hurt the little guy, like farmers and small businesses. This trade agreement was suppose to expand Costa Rica's access to the US market … [Read more...]