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(506) 2223-1327               San José, Costa Rica, Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2009,  Vol. 9, No. 178              E-mail us
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It's time to learn the Himno Nacional for Sept. 14
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

El Día de Independencia is coming, and everyone living in Costa Rica should be able to join in when the national anthem, the Himno Nacional, is played.

Most public events begin with the anthem. When presidents enter a meeting, the anthem is played.

But how many times are Gringos stuck moving the lips without knowing the words. Every school kid knows the anthem. One can see 6-year-olds singing the words as they are held in the arms of their soccer star parents in one of Costa Rica's better traditions. The players bring their children on the field before the start of the game.

For assistance, the Escuela de Historia of the Universidad de Costa Rica has the music online. This is the tune that  Manuel María Gutiérrez put together in three days at the request of president  Juan Rafael Mora in 1852. It was not until  José María Billo Zeledón won a contest in 1903 that the words were fixed. And the lyrics was not declared official until 1949.

Independence Day is Sept. 15, but the tradition is to stand on the curb in front of the home at 6 p.m. Sept. 14 and join with the neighbors in singing the Himno Nacional.

So click HERE and start singing.

    Himno Nacional


    Noble patria, tu hermosa bandera
    expresión de tu vida nos da;
    bajo el límpido azul de tu cielo
    blanca y pura descansa la paz.

    En la lucha tenaz,
    de fecunda labor
    que enrojece del hombre la faz,
    conquistaron tus hijos
    labriegos sencillos
    eterno prestigio, estima y honor.

    ¡Salve, oh tierra gentil!
    ¡Salve, oh madre de amor!
    Cuando alguno pretenda
    tu gloria manchar,
    verás a tu pueblo valiente y viril,
    la tosca herramienta en arma trocar.

    Salve oh Patria tú pródigo suelo,
    dulce abrigo y sustento nos da;
    bajo el límpido azul de tu cielo
    ¡vivan siempre el trabajo y la paz!





Alternate plan would promulgate parts of traffic law
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Regardless of actions in the Asamblea Legislativa, the executive branch has a fall-back plan to put aspects of the new traffic law into action.

The Ministerio de Obras Públicas y Transporte is preparing a decree that will make mandatory certain emergency items in each vehicle. These include a red triangle, a car seat if a passenger is shorter than 1.45 meters (four feet, nine inches), a fire extinguisher and a reflective vest.

These are requirements of the new traffic law that is supposed to go into effect Sept. 23, but lawmakers are hurrying to extend the effective date until March 1 because there are typographical problems with the law that was passed last December.
The red triangle already is required. This is the device motorists are supposed to put in the road if their vehicle breaks down.

The decree is expected to be presented to President Óscar Arias for his signature today. The decree would bring into effect the requirements even if lawmakers freeze the traffic law. the traffic law also mandates a medical kit in each vehicle, although this has become controversial due to the perishability of typical items. What was not mandated and what could have been a lifesaver are airbags.

The text of the decree is not yet available, and any decree would have to be published in the La Gaceta official newspaper before it goes into force. It is believed that the decree gives motorists a month to come into compliance.


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A.M.
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San José, Costa Rica, Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2009, Vol. 9, No. 178

Costa Rica Expertise
Costa Rica Expertise Ltd http://crexpertise.com E-mail info@crexpertise.com Tel:506-256-8585 Fax:506-256-7575

Puriscal Properties
sportsmens update
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Professional Directory
A.M. Costa Rica's professional directory is where business people who wish to reach the English-speaking community may invite responses. If you are interested in being represented here, please contact the editor.


Legal services

Burke Fiduciary, S.A.
Registered Escrow and Legal Services
Thomas A. Burke, LL.M, Glenda Burke, LL.M
Gloria Burke, manager
Burke law firm

We offer real estate law, due diligence and escrow services,residency status, business corporations, estate planning. English, Spanish, German and French spoken.
More about us at www.burkecr.com
Ph. 011 506 2267-6645
info@burkecr.com

The registration of Burke Fiduciary S.A., corporate ID 3-101-501917 with the
General Superintendence of Financial Entities (SUGEF) is not an authorization to operate. The supervision of SUGEF refers to compliance with the capital legitimization requirements of Law No. 8204. SUGEF does not supervise the
business carried out by this company, nor its security, stability or solvency.
Persons contracting its services do so for their own account and at their own risk.
5510-3/2/10

Arcelio Hernandez, Esq.
BUFETE HERNANDEZ MUSSIO Y ASOCIADOS

CRTitle.com
Member: Cenpac, AmCham
Jaco: Tel. 2643-3058 - Fax. 2643-0358
Skype: hernandez.mussio
Arcelio hernandez
• Real Estate Transactions
•  Legal Due Diligence
• Purchase and Sale   Agreements/Options
• Trademarks 
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• Title Guaranty • Fraud
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• Notary public services in
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• Escrow Services (registered
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Visit our Office in Jacó Beach (GEM Building, 
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Attorneys & Notaries
 Tel.  2280-9692 / 2225-9322      
e-mail: info@conjuridica.com  Web:  www.conjuridica.com
       We offer the highest professional standards with very competitive rates. All our official documentation and Notary deeds are always translated in English for better comprehension, client satisfaction and safety.
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• Immigration Law.
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• Notary public services
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       Litigation
Our Law Office is conveniently located near Mall San Pedro,  350 meters south from the Subaru dealer, Los Yoses, San José.
5290-12/2/09

KEARNEY-LAWSON & Asoc.
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Attorneys at Law and real estate brokers
Relocation services, Wedding Planning
Greg Kearney
*Investments  *Corporations
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*Real Estate Sales in Costa Rica
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*Business procedures 
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*Locate People   *Private Investigations
Phone/Fax: 2290-8117, 8841-0007
New location on Rohrmoser Blvd.
 Phone: (506) 2232-1014

Appraiser

BEFORE YOU BUY and OVERPAY
Angela Jiménez
ask Angela Jiménez
Architect/Certified Appraiser
23 years experience
for Costa Rica Banks

• building inspections
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www.orbitcostarica.com/
certifieda.htm
5302-12/12/09

Insurance brokers

Financial Planning & International Health Insurance
Disney Financial Group
Along with specializing in complete financial / estate planning and transfer, Disney is now offering the Finest
Michael Disney
Michael Disney
in International Health and Travel Insurance to Expats living and traveling worldwide.  International health insurance may now be submitted over the Internet.

We also have annuities offering a 25% up front bonus and 5% guaranteed compounded interest.  We handle life insurance policy buy outs. ** All financial products must be finalized within the boundaries of the United States.
Michael Disney, Disney Financial Group. 001.602.464.3729, 001.602.821.5050
E-mail:  DisneyFinancial@Aol.Com
www.DisneyFinancialGroup.Com
www.JoinDisneyOnline.Com
Disney Financial Group is licensed in Arizona, Florida, Nevada, New Mexico and Texas.
5374-10/10/09

Residency experts

Residency in Costa Rica
A full service immigration agency
U.S. and San José offices
Getting and authenticating documents can be a chore —

we know how to do it. Experienced with many nationalities. Up-to-date on
Costa Rica's evolving immigration law.
Pensionado and rentista. Your first stop for smooth, professional service and a positive experience. Javier Zavaleta jzava@pacbell.net
www.residencyincostarica.com
Tel: (323) 255-6116
5495-2/17/09

Psychiatrist

Dr. Luis Carlos Sancho Torres
  bilingual psychiatrist (UCR)
Dr. Sancho
• consulting • depression  • schizophrenia 
• psychiatric disability VA Affairs

• evaluations for gun permits 
 
• bipolar disorders  • addictions 

• methadone

• Transmagnetic stimulation
for depression and stroke

Available 24-hour a day

office: 2246-3458 or 2246-3459
soon: www.psiquiatriacostarica.com
 lucasancho@yahoo.com
5128-7/14/09


Physicians and surgeons

Dr. Marco A. Mora Aguilar, Neurosurgeon
Dr. Mora
Dr. Marco A. Mora
Available for surgery in any of the private hospitals in San José.
                
Stroke, Brain Surgery, Spine Surgery, Scalp and Skull Repair, Craniotomy
 
http://www.drmarcomora.com
E-mail: info@drmarcomora.com
Or use our Contact Form on the site
Emergency tel: 8879-1818, 8395-1818
Accepting VA's Foreign Medical Program
5517-11/8/09

Dentists and dental surgery

Dental Cosmetics Costa Rica
Our office offers a wide variety of cosmetic and restorative treatments at very affordable prices. Fillings,
Dental Cosmetics
crowns, bridges, veneers, tooth whitening, implants, smile makeover orthognatic surgery, scalling and polishing.
www.dentalcosmeticscr.com
5372-10/9/09


Marco Cavallini & Associates
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Dr. Marco A. Muñoz Cavallini has placed and restored
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Dr. Marco A. Muñoz Cavallini
over 10,000 dental implants since 1980. The Dr. Marco Muñoz Cavallini Dental Clinic, is recognized as one of the best practices in Dental Reconstruction,
Dental Implant placement and Cosmetic Dentistry in Costa Rica and the World. 
For more information,
visit us today at: www.aestheticdentistrycr.com
5346-8/26/09

Acupuncture physician

Acupuncture (disposable needles),
& Auriculotherapy (without needles) 

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for sport and all injuries; Back, neck, shoulder, elbow, carpal tunnel, knees, sciatica, 
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Eugene Mc Donald A.P.
migraine, T.M.J., kidney stones, intercostal neuralgia, and all painfull conditions  without drugs. Excellent results for stress, tension, anxiety, depression; and many other medical conditions and health maintenance.  Acupuncture works even if other therapies had little or no results. Free consultation, U.S. license, 19 years experience, Eugene Mc Donald, A.P (acupuncture physician) Escazú, 8352-0661. acutherapy0@hotmail.com
http://acupuncturecr.blogspot.com/
5073-9/20/09

Accountants

James Brohl, C.P.A. & M.B.A.
US Income Tax,  US GAAP Accounting
& Business Consulting

• US Tax return preparation  for
individuals and businesses
• eFile returns: secure with faster refunds
• Assist with back reporting and other filing issues
• Take advantage of the Foreign
Income Tax Exclusion (up to $
87,600 in 2008)
• Business Consulting to facilitate working in Costa Rica
• Accounting for US and International Financial Reporting


Telephone 8305-3149 or 2256-8620
E-mail jrtb_1999@racsa.co.cr
5097-3/30/10

U.S. Tax International

Plus Costa Rican taxes, accounting, and legal services
Over 15 years in Costa Rica
(English Spoken)
C.R. 2288-2201   U.S 786-206-9473
FAX: 2289-8235
E-mail: ustax@lawyer.com
Web page with vital U.S. tax info HERE!
5422-8/13/09

Real estate agents and services

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Real estate, development, Investments.

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506 2777-1197

Over 25 years experience in Costa Rica

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5349-11/25/09


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with Great Estates of Costa Rica

20 years Costa Rican
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Member of the Costa Rican Real Estate Association, Lic. #1000

Member of
Costa Rican-American Chamber of Commerce

samargo@racsa.co.cr
info@realtorcostarica.com
www.realtorcostarica.com
(506)  2220-3729 &  (506) 8382-7399 cell
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www.c21jaco.com
2643-3356
Info@c21jaco.com
4401-6/9/09v


Gasoline and taxi fares
scheduled to increase


By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The price regulating agency said Tuesday that taxi fares and the price of gasoline were going up.

Super gasoline is going up 34 colons per liter or about 6 U.S. cents. Plus gasoline is going up 33 colons a liter.

TAxi fares are going up 25 colons for the first kilometer to 455 colons or about 78 U.S. cents. Subsequent city miles will be at 416 colons each, an increase of 30 colons. Fares for vehicles used for the disabled and rural vehicles are slightly different/

The agency, the Authoridad Regulatora de Servicios PúblicosPúblicos has cut taxi fares about  percent in March reasoning that fuel prices had come down.me down.

Both increasess areexpecteded to tax effect Sept. 16 when the decision is published in the La Gaceta official newspaper.

The agency also reminded passengers that because legally they have the right to choose the route, they also must pay for any tolls that the taxi driver has to pay.

The gasoline price follows the change in certain economic indicators between July 31 and Aug. 13. Among these are the international price of petroleum and the devaluation of the colon. There were similar increases for diesel and other petroleum products.

Our readers' opinions
Wimax never will be
access method of choice

Dear A.M. Costa Rica:

As a retired wireless/microwave engineer, I am continually amazed at people who think that they know more about radio signals and propagation than the professionals who design and build systems based on radio. Your article in Tuesday's A.M. Costa Rica is a good case in point.

The "Evolutiona" WiMax system offered by RACSA operates on "C-band" microwave frequencies because it is only at microwave frequencies that available bandwidths make possible the kinds of connect speeds that Internet users are coming to expect.  As you go higher in frequency, available bandwidths become greater.  But as you go higher, the signal also becomes more like light waves, which are themselves a form of microwave energy.  In other words, it becomes ever more easily blocked by obstructions. 

At C-band, a frequency of 3,000 million hertz, or cycles per second, the signals become so similar to light that they behave much like it — it doesn't take much to completely block the signal. So to suggest that the "weak signal" that can't "amazingly" can't penetrate walls or even trees, displays an appalling ignorance of how high-bandwidth systems must be constructed.  Yes, in theory it would be possible to construct a system that could easily penetrate walls and trees, but the throughput would be so slow that it would more resemble the early dialup modems than a modern Internet access system, and such a system could support only a handful of users without being maxed out. This bandwidth versus line-of-sight problem is why wireless Internet access is simply never going to be the access method of choice.  Your problem is the laws of physics, not RACSA's system design.

I am an Evolutiona customer, and a happy one.  This e-mail was sent to you through that network.  I have been on the Evolutiona system since January of this year, and have been pleased with the service I have received so far.  Before going on the Evolutiona system, I was on a very similar private WiMax network.  RACSA's WiMax system costs about half as much per month; installation, which happened a couple of weeks after my order, cost one fourth as much, and the performance and uptime has been vastly superior.  The longest service outage I have had so far was six hours (due to a server failure in Cartago), and it is rarely down for more than an hour or so, and that maybe once a month.  For me, the system you are complaining about works brilliantly.  It is at least as reliable as the Cox cable modem I was on in Phoenix before moving here, and the performance nearly as good.

By comparison, the private WiMax network I was on in San Ramón wasn't installed for three months after my order, and when it was finally installed, it was down frequently — several times per week, typically, and was often down for a day or two at a time — when it went down on weekends, it would usually be down until a tech came on duty on Monday morning.  Throughputs were much slower and the latency (delay) was so highly variable that it was difficult to stream even low bit-rate audio media on that network except late at night.

So don't complain about RACSA and its WiMax system design just because you happen to be in a difficult spot and don't understand the physics. In my professional experience, Evolutiona is about as good as WiMax gets.
Scott Bidstrup
Cartago

Limitations of Wimax
are the nature of the beast

Dear A.M. Costa Rica:

The problem you encountered with installation of RACSA's Wimax wireless Internet access service is inherent in the current technology. It's the nature of the beast.

Here in Grecia, we've had three companies providing wireless Internet access, and all three have required an unobstructed line of sight to either their primary antenna or to a repeater placed between the user's site and that primary antenna. The RACSA technicians were on the right track by moving the mast and antenna around on the roof and by recommending removal of part of the tree. This is precisely what we have had to do in order to get service from Costa Rica Wi-Fi on our mountainside outside Grecia.

Perhaps when the technology changes these limitations will ease, but the current technology has brought Internet access to areas that are difficult to reach at very reasonable cost. The alternative, stringing cable to every location where Internet access is desired is impractical from both technical and cost perspectives. Wireless access systems, over which I will send this message to you, are a practical alternative in many situations.
David C. Murray
Grecia, Alajuela

Have you seen these stories?




Top story feeds are disabled on archived pages.
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A.M. Costa Rica
users guide

This is a brief users guide to A.M. Costa Rica.

Old pages

Each day someone complains via e-mail that the newspages are from yesterday or the day before. A.M. Costa Rica staffers check every page and every link when the newspaper is made available at 2 a.m. each weekday.

So the problem is with the browser in each reader's computer. Particularly when the connection with the  server is slow, a computer will look to the latest page in its internal memory and serve up that page.

Readers should refresh the page and, if necessary, dump the cache of their computer, if this problem persists. Readers in Costa Rica have this problem frequently because the local Internet provider has continual problems.

Searching

The A.M. Costa Rica search page has a list of all previous editions by date and a space to search for specific words and phrases. The search will return links to archived pages.

Newspages

A typical edition will consist of a front page and four other newspages. Each of these pages can be reached by links near the top and bottom of the pages.

Classifieds

Five classified pages are updated daily. Employment listings are free, as are listings for accommodations wanted, articles for sale and articles wanted. The tourism page and the real estate sales and real estate rentals are updated daily.

Advertising information

A summary of advertising rates and sizes are available for display and classifieds.

Statistics

A.M. Costa Rica makes its monthly statistics available to advertisers and readers. It is HERE! 

Contacting us

Both the main telephone number and the editor's e-mail address are listed on the front page near the date.

Visiting us

Directions to our office and other data, like bank account numbers are on the about us page.


Did you try
to call us?


We're not trying to avoid you. We just are victims of another ICE problem.

The workmen came and disconnected the phones in our old office before they found out that they did not have sufficient space to install the lines in the new office.

You can reach us at 8832-5564.

But Internet is best.

-A.M. Costa Rica 


For your international reading pleasure:


News of Nicaragua
News of Central America
News of Cuba
News of Venezuela
News of Colombia
News of El Salvador


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A.M.
Costa Rica
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San José, Costa Rica, Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2009, Vol. 9, No. 178

Brenes law firm
Your Costa Rica






In case you can't find

the Sabana ICE tower

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad is awaiting a court decision on whether it will have to cut its rates. The company pleaded poverty and said the rate cut would endanger its financial stability and cost it about $1 million.

Nevertheless, the company known as ICE is seeking to change its image. One step is placing two illuminated signs atop its central headquarters in Sabana Norte.

The company did not say how much the new signs would cost, but it said the signs would use low-consumption lighting.

ICE sign
Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad photo


Environmental group says Nicoya wetlands are being farmed
Special to A.M. Costa Rica

Agropecuaria Caletas S.A., has continued the destruction of wetlands within the Refugio Nacional de Vida Silvestre Caletas - Arío that was created in 2006 to protect the olive ridley and leatherback sea turtles that nest there, according to an environmental organization..

The organization, the Programa Restauraciónortuga Marina, filed suit against Agropecuaria Caletas S.A. for draining the wetlands of the Caletas Ario Wildlife Refuge, the organization noted. The Tribunal Ambiental Administrativo ordered the company to halt all of its activities in and around this sensitive wetland in April, said the environmental organization known as Pretoma.

In June, the Tribunal Ambiental ordered the company to pay $21,200 for damages after officials observed how the
company was draining and burning a 150-hectare (370-acre) wetland that boarders Playa Caletas on the southern Nicoya Peninsula, Pretoma said.

Pretoma volunteers took videos of the area this weekend.  Randall Arauz, president of Pretoma, said the company was continuing to drain and cultivate in the wetlands.

Pretoma said that in July 2008 it filed a lawsuit against Agropecuaria Caletas S.A. and its president Silvester Feichtinger. The company seeks to convert the area into a corn field, the organization said.

In August 2008, fires on the wetland spread to within one meter of Pretoma’s sea turtle conservation camp, putting at risk its six volunteers and sea turtle hatchery that protect 130 nests and estimated potential 10,000 turtle hatchlings, Pretoma said.


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Medical vacations in Costa Rica

A.M. Costa Rica
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San José, Costa Rica, Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2009, Vol. 9, No. 178



competitive index
Chart shows what respondents through were the major problems in doing business here.

Costa Rica still ends up in top half of index of competition

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services
with staff input

A new survey indicates that Switzerland, rather than the United States, is now the world's most competitive economy.

The World Economic Forum announced the results Tuesday, based on how countries performed in areas such as good government, infrastructure, innovation, and availability of talent. Singapore's economy ranked third in the survey. Emerging economies China, Brazil, and India all showed improvement, while Russia's ranking fell.

In other economic news, a government report said Tuesday that U.S. consumer borrowing slid by $21.6 billion in July - the sixth month in a row that borrowing declined. That contributes to less spending in the consumer-driven U.S. economy.

Meanwhile, 15 major banks from the U.S. and Europe sent a letter to the U.S. Federal Reserve Tuesday, promising to be more transparent when dealing with complex investments known as derivatives. Some critics say loose regulation of the trading of derivatives played a big role in the economic crisis that began one year ago.

The banks say they will use a central forum to make some transactions, to make it easier to monitor them. Derivatives are financial instruments whose value is based on something else, like home loans or crude oil.

Costa Rica ranked 55th out of 133 countries, up slightly from 58th place in 2008-2009 World Economic Forum survey.

The rankings are calculated from both publicly available data and the Executive Opinion Survey, a comprehensive annual survey conducted by the World Economic Forum together with its network of partner institutes (leading research
institutes and business organizations) in the countries covered by the report. This year, more 13,000 business leaders were
polled in 133 economies. The survey is designed to capture a broad range of factors affecting an economy’s business climate. The report also includes comprehensive listings of the main strengths and weaknesses of countries, making it possible to identify key priorities for policy reform.

Costa Rica was ranked low in the efficiency of government officials and on the country's infrastructure. Corruption was in fifth place as detracting factors.

The Global Competitiveness Report’s ranking is based on the Global Competitiveness Index, developed for the World Economic Forum by Sala-i-Martin and introduced in 2004. The index is based on 12 pillars of competitiveness, providing a comprehensive picture of the competitiveness landscape in countries around the world at all stages of development. The pillars include institutions, infrastructure, macroeconomic stability, health and primary education, higher education and training, goods market efficiency, labour market efficiency, financial market sophistication, technological readiness, market size, business sophistication, and innovation.

The report contains a detailed profile for each of the 133 economies featured in the study, providing a comprehensive summary of the overall position in the rankings as well as the most prominent competitive advantages and disadvantages of each country/economy based on the analysis used in computing the rankings. Also included is an extensive section of data tables with global rankings for over 110 indicators.

This year’s report also includes a number of discussions of selected countries and regions.

Because the index is a synthesis of various surveys, the results probably are not as precise as the forum would suggest. Such indexes paint with a broad brush.



august results





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A.M.
Costa Rica
fifth news page

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San José, Costa Rica, Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2009, Vol. 9, No. 178

Casa Alfi Hotel

Telecom agency wins
backing from Contraloría


By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The nation's financial watchdog has rejected a claim by telecom operators who challenged the right of the new Superintendencia de Telecomunicacions to collect a fee to support itself.

The decision came from the Contraloría de la República, and was reported by the Superintendencia. The challenge came from the Cámera de Infocomunicaciones.

The Superintendencia has stipulated that telecom providers kick in nearly 5 billion colons each year. That's about $8.6 million, beginning Jan. 1.

The telecom chamber argued that it should have some input to the decision by the Superintendencia in setting the fees and that due process was violated.

The chamber has the option of taking the argument into court.

The fees paid by the telecom provider will come from what is charged for services. The Superintendencia is a rapidly growing bureaucracy which has defined a broad role for itself, including supervision of private telecom nets.


Sportfishing competition
won't go to Venezuela


By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The third leg of the Presidential Caribbean Cup sportsfishing tournament scheduled for this month in Venezuelan waters has been canceled, said the organizers, the Presidential Challenge Charitable Foundation Inc. in Florida.

The organization said that it learned of several prominent charter boats that would not be returning to Venezuelan waters for the fall season, which in turn prompted others to also not return to the area. In addition, the ever-changing political landscape has made it very difficult to organize tournament logistics such as fuel supplies and catering in order to run a successful event, it said.

Two remaining events for the 2009 competition, the El Salvador and Guatemala legs, are proceeding as planned, the organization said, directing those interested to its Web site.


Fugitive Tica found in Canada

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

A Costa Rican woman sentenced to 10 years for a 1994 drug crime has been located in Canada, the Poder Judicial said Tuesday. She is Rose Mary Cordonero Garcia. She was arrested in Ontario Thursday. The Poder Judicial said that the arrest came after a year or coordination between prosecutors here and Canadian police working under the banner of the International Police Agency.

The woman was sentenced in October 1995 but fled, the Poder Judicial said. The case involved smuggling cocaine.

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San José, Costa Rica, Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2009, Vol. 9, No. 178

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Gold cracks $1,000 mark
for third time Tuesday


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Wary investors are buying gold, pushing prices upward on precious metal trading markets. Gold prices topped the $1,000 an ounce mark for just the third time during trading Tuesday, climbing to their highest level since February before falling again.

Investors say gold has become an increasingly attractive investment because of concerns about the value of the U.S. dollar and other currencies. They fear massive spending efforts by world governments to stimulate economic growth will lead to inflation and cause many currencies to decline in value.

Some economists say the current rush to buy gold is also the result of fears that the world's stock markets are headed for a steep decline. The highest price paid for gold came in March 2008, when prices also topped $1,030 an ounce.

The price of gold on the world market has been rising steadily in recent weeks. People traditionally buy gold during difficult economic times because they think it will hold its value better than other investments. For that same reason, investors also buy gold when they think the value of the U.S. dollar is going to decline.

U.S., Monaco OK agreement
to exchange tax information


Special to A.M. Costa Rica

The U.S. Department of the Treasury today announced that the United States and Monaco have signed an agreement to allow for the exchange of information on tax matters between the two countries.  The agreement was signed by Deputy Secretary Neal Wolin and Minister Franck Biancheri in Washington.

"This administration is wholeheartedly committed to combating offshore tax evasion," said Wolin.  "We are working with countries like Monaco to ensure that the IRS has access to the information that it needs to enforce U.S. tax law.  Today's agreement serves as an example for other financial centers around the world and reflects our continued efforts to end the use of offshore accounts as a tool for tax evasion."

The with Monaco will provide the United States with access to information it needs to enforce U.S. tax laws, including information related to bank accounts in Monaco. Information exchanged pursuant to the agreement may be used only for tax purposes, and the tax authorities must safeguard the confidentiality of information exchanged, the Treasury Department said.






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