Vol.18  No. 815  Wednesday Edition, August 15, 2018
Real Estate
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Women Export helps female entrepreneurs

By A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Itan Wix Co. was created as a result of the need to teach a child the multiplication tables. Laura Ortiz, founder and owner, created a method for her child to learn the tables and continue the school process normally. The new method was very successful and also helped other children in the school to learn math in a way that was easier and more fun.

Since its development four years ago, Itan Wix – a game to aid learning – has become a program sold in 50 stores nationwide. The game Itan Wix has now its own Facebook page and the company is in the process of setting the game up to be exported.

Founder Ortiz said that the export program for women helped guide her through the process and gave her advice on “how to develop my company.”

With Itan Wix are 20 other companies led by women who are part of the Women Export Program created by the Costa Rican Promoter of Foreign Trades.

The minister of Foreign Trade, Dyalá Jiménez, commented on the importance of this program that calls for more women to become exporters.

"This initiative aims to include women in internationalization processes through a policy of promoting inclusion and the development of at least 30 companies that promote exports," said Jimenez.

Micaela Mazzei, director of the Costa Rican Promoter of Foreign Trades said:  "The inclusion of more women in internationalization processes is already a global trend. This is because it is not only a matter of responsibility and equity, it is a matter of economic development and opportunity for the countries that promote it. We trust in the talent and quality of the products and services of Costa Rican businesswomen, and we know that there is an opportunity for them in international markets."

In 2018, the 20 women who are currently in the process of exporting for the first time or exporting to new markets were selected. The next open call will be held in October, when it is hoped that there will be 10 new companies in the program.

Itan Wix courtesy photo
The new method was very successful and also helped other children in the school to learn math in a way that was easier and more fun.

Women Export approves companies that produce a variety of products such as vegan fruit-based ice cream, corn flour, spices and condiments, tea, honey products, organic cleaning products, cosmetics, butters of various foods, fertilizers, pesticides, cocoa, organic candles, frozen pasta, dehydrated fruit in sheets, roasted coffee, chemicals for industry, materials of education and preserves of various foods. Because of its success, the program is open to increasing the list with new products, officials said.

Women who own a company and wish to participate in the program must meet these requirements: Know the full process and production capacity of her own company, the product must be registered according to the Ministry of Health requirements, and she must have at least two years of selling the product. Women interested  in being part of this program can get more information at: womenexport@procomer.com

Moody's notes evidence of lack of financial supervision

By A.M. Costa Rica staff

Rocío Aguilar, the Finance minister, reported Aug. 7 that the government has paid internal debt in the last two months, but that those payments were outside of the budget and without the authorization of the legislature.

The rating risk firm Moody's reacted to this assertion and said that this action highlights the absence of adequate financial supervision in Costa Rica.

In February 2017, this risk rating agency granted a grade of Ba2 to the country with a negative outlook.

The government of Carlos Alvarado inherited the budget of the previous year, which was made by the team of president Luis Guillermo Solis. That inherited budget settled the limits of the repayments of the debt. Even so, after a short time the top of the budget was exceeded.

"The Costa Rican law allows the government to continue making debt payments beyond the limit, so that debtors are protected," explains the rating agency's publication. It adds, "However, doing so may entail sanctions for the officials involved."

July 31 the government requested that the legislature authorize an increase the debt payments at ¢600 billion ($1.06 billion), equivalent to 1.8 percent of gross domestic product.

According to Moody's, this series of events shows that the Costa Rican government does not have adequate financial supervision and internal communication.

The situation is compounded by the permanent institutional weakness that Costa Rica has shown in the last decade, a period in which it has not managed to get fiscal reform approved in the legislature, the ratings firm said in its report.

A.M. Costa Rica wire service photo

According to Moody's the Costa Rican government does not have adequate financial supervision and internal communication.

"Costa Rica is in a difficult financial situation with large fiscal imbalances and an increasing burden of debt. The fiscal balance of the central government has deteriorated steadily since the global financial crisis," the statement said.

The country went from a surplus of 0.6 percent in 2007 to a deficit of 6.2 percent in 2017.

According to the report, the continuing deficits have brought total debt to almost 50 percent of gross domestic product last year, an upward process that began in 2008.



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