San Jose, Costa Rica
San Jose is the capital city of Costa Rica and center of political and economic activity of the country. It is also the main transportation hub and center of the largest working area of the country. The country has been very active attracting foreign investment behind tax incentives, high levels of education, a very good base of skilled workers and a great climate. Economy is driven by the services industry financial and call centers, as well as pharmaceutical, ecotourism and crops (coffee, banana, pineapple). The country is also known for supporting environmental policies focused on sustainability. While not official, the economy is partially dollarized, being a common practice to be charged either in Colones or US dollars, which leads to a confusing market dynamic of speculation. With a well-thought long term growth plan, the country could become one of the most competitive centers in Central America for services and/or flow of goods within the Americas and across continents. Costa Rica has a privileged location and an excellent educational system that ensures availability of talented workers for all types of tasks. On the flip side, the city still lacks investment in infrastructure and maintenance. In addition, the country has been losing competitiveness, especially with neighboring Panama, with increased cost of living indexes and excessive commute times. Ensuring a long term growth master plan is crucial to unleash the country’s potential. An important portion of the transportation extra costs are behind the poor quality and availability of roads; while the workforce spends a significant amount of time commuting which adds up to an significant amount of idle work force reducing overall productivity.