Monday, December 20, 2010

Solving Haiti's Problem With Jatropha

In describing the problems Haiti faces in the wake of its devastating January earthquake, it's hard to know where to start. But two of the key ones that immediately come to mind are 1). food security and the 2). country's rampant record of environmental degradation. (To date, Haitians have cut through more than 90% of its forest to generate charcoal for food preparation.)

Both are urgent priorities for both donors and the Haitian government alike. But what if you could solve both problems at once?

Gael Pressoir, a geneticist and former researcher at Cornell University, says it's possible. Pressoir has been exploring the use of a plant that can be transformed not only into food, but fuel. The plant, called jatropha, is already being used in African countries. Likewise, an edible kind of jatropha is grown by indigenous communities in Mexico.

Pressoir believes it the plant can be grown in Haiti, too — with potentially incredible results. Jatropha is rich in protein like a soybean meal. Oil from jatropha can also be burned to fuel stoves, which would decrease the need to cut through forests for charcoal. Meanwhile, jatropha is a tree that can likewise be used to reforest barren land and stabilize its soil.

And wait — there's more. Jatropha oil can be transformed into biodiesel, and in a country largely dependent on diesel, that's a fact that could make a huge fiscal difference. According to Pressoir, diesel accounts for 50% of Haiti's fuel dependency. (Just last year, Haiti imported $380 million in diesel for its electrical generators and you can read detailed coverage on this in the New York Times here.)

“Diesel is the second largest commodity market in Haiti,” says Pressoir. “So there is a huge local market for diesel or diesel substitute.”

Right now, Pressoir and his nonprofit venture CHIBAS are working with the help of USAID and L'Agence Nationale De La Recherche in France to explore what could be a market of half a billion dollars. Haiti's Ministry of Agriculture is backing the jatropha initiative, too, though the government worries jatropha might interfere with traditional food crops. Those concerns have been addressed, says Pressoir, and more than a million acres have been identified for jatropha plantations that won't bleed the local farming economy.

Is jatropha a viable solution to both Haiti’s food and energy security issues? I'd say it looks quite promising. The plant is a sound investment — and a potentially powerful way to kill two birds with one stone.

To read more and see the full article on Jatropha World Costa Rica click here

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Webinar Thursday 16th 1:00pm Eastern



Planning an investment in Real Estate in Costa Rica?



Then you won't want to miss this webinar:

Attend this webinar and you'll learn more about:

Costa Rica
Real Estate Purchase in Costa Rica
Real Estate Ownership in Costa Rica
Timber
Teak
The Pitfalls to avoid
The Fundamental Mistake Many Investors Make
Nature Walk, Turrubares

James Cahill of Costa Rica Invest will alos outline the investment dynamics of the NATUREWALK offering of LAND + TEAK FORESTRY + DEVELOPMENT USE.

Find out why this investment model performs BETTER that most and why it is SAFER that most. With the recent trends in the market indicating a turnaround is in process in the real estate, tourism and forestry sectors of Costa Rica, how will this trend effect the Land, the Forestry and Development components at NATUREWALK.

Discover how this combination investment avoids the fundamental investment mistake that many investors make.

For those who are not familiar with Costa Rica, a quick presentation on the Country is offered as well as information on the NATUREWALK PROJECT and it's socio-economic objectives. Joining for this session is Tim Alexander of PRG Canada, the Developers of the NATUREWALK brand of ecological developments who will highlight the growing importance and influence on real estate development of trends concerning the environment, social responsibility and corporate governance.

This interactive webcast presentation will last approximately 20 minutes followed by a Q&A session for you to ask specific questions.











Thursday, December 9, 2010

Federal Railroad Administration Invests in Biofuels

7 December 2010

With a vision to decrease the nation’s dependence on fossil fuels, the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) has awarded two research grants in a bid to advance the use of bio-based fuels and lubricants.


We are committed to reducing our carbon footprint through the use of alternative sources,’ said US transportation secretary Ray LaHood. ‘These innovative projects are just the latest steps in making our transportation systems cleaner all across the country.’

The FRA awarded $395,189 (€295,855) to North Carolina State University to continue its research into the use of biofuels for freight and passenger rail operations, which will result in a possible recommendation of a premium biofuel blend for train engines

Additionally, the Natrional Ag-based Lubricant Center at the University of Northern Iowa received $371,373 to study the feasability of using readily biodegradeable soy-based lubricants by freight passenger railroads.

Commenting on the grants federal Railroads administrator Joseph Szabo said "FRA has a long history of funding research to make railroads more energy efficient and cleaner".

To read the full story on the Biofuels Interantional Website click here

Brazilian airline flies on biofuel

24 November 2010


On 22 November an Airbus A320 was flown off the coast of Rio de Janeiro, Latin America, fuelled by a 50:50 blend of biofuel and conventional aviation fuel.

The 45-minute flight, which was conducted by Brazil’s largest airline TAM, Airbus and engine manufacturer CFM International, used biodiesel derived from jatropha seeds in what has been named the first experimental flight in South America using aviation fuel.


Since February 2008 a total of six flights have been successfully flown using a biofuel blend. Air New Zealand, Continental, Japan Airlines, KLM and Virgin Atlantic have all tested aviation biofuel from a variety of feedstocks including jatropha, coconut oil, algae and camelina seed oil.

According to the president of TAM Libano Barroso, the airline is looking to build ‘a Brazilian platform for sustainable aviation bio-kerosene.’

Barroso defended the non-edible crop, claiming that food crop production is not threatened by it as it ‘can be planted along pastures and food crops.’ The president claimed that studies have shown jatropha-based biofuels to emit between 65 and 80% less carbon than traditional aviation kerosene.

To read the full story on the Biofuels International website click here


Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Lufthansa unveils plan to test biofuels on regular domestic flights

30 November 2010 Deutsche Welle

German airline Lufthansa plans to begin testing the use of biofuels on one of its popular domestic flight routes from April next year. The carrier hopes to make inroads into cutting the size of its carbon footprint.

Germany's national air carrier Lufthansa said on Monday it would start test the use of biofuel to supplement kerosene on one of its major domestic flights.

The airline plans to use the dual fuel sources on its four-times-daily service between Hamburg and Frankfurt from April 2011, in a project aimed at reducing carbon dioxide emissions.

"Through the test on the route between Hamburg and Frankfurt, the effect of the biofuel on the maintenance and lifespan of the engines can be investigated," said Manfred Aigner, head of the German Aerospace Center's combustion technology institute.

A quarter of the fuel used by the Airbus 321 airplanes operating on the route will be composed of a synthetic mixture made from 50 percent vegetable oil.

Up to four times more costly than kerosene

Lufthansa plans to spend 6.6 million euros (8.7 million dollars) on the project, with the biofuel costing three to four times more than kerosene.

Project leader Joachim Buse told a press conference that the use of biofuel would mean a reduction in carbon dioxide emissions of 1,500 metric tons over the six-month test period.

While air Japan and Air New Zealand have already tested biofuels in their airplanes, Lufthansa said it would be the first carrier to use them on a regular basis.

The airline said it hoped that biofuels could make up between five and ten percent of its fuel consumption by 2020.

To read the full detailed story click here

Thursday, November 25, 2010

8 simple secrets to living longer

Did you know that people in Costa Rica live longer than elsewhere in the Western Hemisphere and that the Nicoya Peninsula is noe of the world's blue zones, where people live to over 100 in very large numbers and do so with health and vitality?

What are their secrets?

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Really great video about Costa Rica - you'll like it Guaranteed!

Due to demand we are repeating our Webinar


We are repeating our webinar from last week.

Give your finances and the planet a Thanksgiving gift!

Goldman Sachs says that "investing in Biofuel is akin to going back in time to 1990 and investing in the PC revolution"

If you didn't make your fortune in the PC revolution, then please don't miss the biofuel revolution.

Texans and Arab Sheiks know that owning your own oilfield gives you a guaranteed income and yearly price increases.

Now you can own your own Green Oilfield for just US$35,000

We are delighted to launch our newest project, which combines biofuels and development land in Costa Rica

Attend this webinar and you'll find out about an opportunity which can guarantee your financial future.



James Cahill from Costa Rica Invest, is joined by Michael Klein, Chief Operating officer of Inited Biofuels of America in the launch of the new Green Oilfield Revolution.

United Biofuels of America are the world leader in Jatropha (biofuel) research and have been selected as one of Shell Oils top 25 Global Energy Entrepreneurs. See more here

And the best part about this is...you can be part of this phenomenal event from the comfort of your own home or office! And, you'll have an opportunity to ask questions.

This is a strictly limited private release prior to general advertisment.


If you care about your financial future, register to attend this Webinar now

Title: Now you can own a Green Oilfield

Date: Thursday, November 25th 2010 Time: 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM EST

After registering you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the Webinar.



System Requirements PC-based attendees Required: Windows® 7, Vista, XP or 2003 Server Macintosh®-based attendees Required: Mac OS® X 10.4.11 (Tiger®) or newer

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Costa Rica - Hot Property Listings

A number of our clients have asked us to keep an eye out for other investment opportunities in Costa Rica and we have put together our Costa Rica Hot Property Listing.


Click here to download your copy direct to your computer

(Please note you may have to "allow" your computer to download this pdf document)

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

International Energy Agency World Energy report 2010


The International Energy Agency has published its world energy report 2010.

You can download and read the executive summary here

The report highlights the uncertainty of crude oil supply and prices over the next 25 years and the urgent need for alternative energy sources.

The report also highlights the urgent need for increasing biofuel production "the use of biofuels - trasnsport fuels derived from from biomass feedstock- is expected to increase rapidly, over the projection period thanks to rising oil prices and Government support".

They further highlight the need that the use of biofuels needs "to grow more than four-fold between 2008 and 2035"

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Did you miss the PC investment opportunity in the 1990's

Or worse did you invest just before the tech stock crash

Goldman Sachs says that "investing in Biofuel is akin to going back in time to 1990 and investing in the PC revolution"

If you didn't make your fortune in the PC revolution, then please don't miss the biofuel revolution.


Texans and Arab Sheiks know that owning your own oilfield gives you a guaranteed income and yearly price increases.

Now you can own your own Green Oilfield for just US$35,000

We are delighted to launch our newest project, which combines biofuels and development land in Costa Rica

Attend this webinar and you'll find out about an opportunity which can guarantee your financial future.

James Cahill from Costa Rica Invest, is joined by Daniel Yepez, president of United Biofuels of America and Michael Klein, Chief Operating officer of Inited Biofuels of America in the launch of the new Green Oilfield Revolution.

United Biofuels of America are the world leader in Jatropha (biofuel) research and have been selected as one of Shell Oils top 25 Global Energy Entrepreneurs. See more here

And the best part about this is...you can be part of this phenomenal event from the comfort of your own home or office! And, you'll have an opportunity to ask questions.

This is a strictly limited private release prior to general advertisment.


If you care about your financial future, register to attend this Webinar now

Title: Now you can own a Green Oilfield

Date: Thursday, November 18, 2010
Time: 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM EST

After registering you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the Webinar.

System Requirements
PC-based attendees Required: Windows® 7, Vista, XP or 2003 Server Macintosh®-based attendees Required: Mac OS® X 10.4.11 (Tiger®) or newer

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Project to promote more green energy in Guanacaste

Project to produce more clean energy in Guanacaste is promoted

The Governments of Costa Rica and Japan carried out an exchange of notes prompting for the development of the "Project for the Introduction of Clean Energy by a Solar Electricity Generation System" proposed by the Costa Rican Institute of Electricity (ICE by its acronyms in Spanish).

This exchange of notes represents the approval of the first project, of a group of 14, that the Direction of International Cooperation of the Department of Foreign Affairs presented to the Embassy of Japan in June of last year.
This project, with an estimated value of $9 million, will allow the country to have its first photovoltaic solar plant of importance. It is a matter of taking advantage of a renewable energy source that is very abundant in our country, which furthermore does not produce any emission contaminants.

The director of the Division of the Corporate University of ICE, Róger Carvajal; the Chancellor of the Republic, Bruno Stagno; the Ambassador of Japan in Costa Rica, Hidekazu Yamaguchi and the minister of Planning, Roberto Gallardo participated in the ceremony, carried out at the Chancellery,

Foreign Relations minister, Bruno Stagno, emphasized that "this initiative adds to the efforts of the country to confront the climatic change placing special emphasis in adaptation and its mitigation, as well as in improving access to clean energy".

Furthermore he emphasized that currently 51% of the country´s forest cover has been reforested, also as part of the actions taken to fight the climatic change, an initiative started over 20 years ago. He finished by thanking the government of Japan for contributing in helping to make this country carbon neutral by the year 2021 and to businesses like ICE, for being pioneers in these efforts'' A great congratulations to ICE for their commitment to the environment and renewable energies. This cooperation is a recognition not only for the country, but also for ICE'', he manifested.

In turn, the Ambassador of Japan, Hidekazu Yamaguchi, expressed that the program of donations of the Japanese government included various countries and businesses around the world and ICE was favored among the group selected.

"ICE deeply thanks the Japanese government for their donation that effectively collaborates with the effort that the country is carrying out to be supplied 100% by renewable energy sources in the near future" said Róger Carvajal.

He also added that hydroelectric, geothermic and Aeolian energies dominate the electric production of Costa Rica, thus achieving that 94.6% of the electricity of the country is being generated from clean energy sources.

The project has two subdivisions. The first one, called Solar Project Miravalles, is located at the Geothermal Plant of Miravalles, in Guanacaste. ICE will install a solar central microcomputer of 400 kw. there.

The second, called Solar Pilot Project Savannah, of 3 kw, will be located in the area that occupies the main building of the ICE offices in North Sabana, San José. The purpose of this pilot plan is to show the residents of the Metropolitan Area the possibilities that solar energy offers.

Both the Miravalles and the microcomputer project in La Sabana will have their systems directly connected to a network, thus both installations will be contributing their energy into the national electric system directly via such network.

To read the article in full click here

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Additional Services now available

Many of our clients have asked for our advice and assistance with S.A. establishment, mobile phone applications, bank account opening in Costa Rica.

We are delighted to now offer the following services to our clients:

  1. Sociedad Anónima or S.A. (the Costa Rican equivalent of a corporation or limited company) establishment
  2. Bank Account set up
  3. Getting a mobile phone in Costa Rica
  4. Obtaining a Costa Rican Drivers License
  5. Annual filings for your S.A.
  6. Initial Annotations and Company Books for your S.A.
To see more visit our Costa Rica Invest's Additional Services Page

Friday, October 29, 2010

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Costa Rica wins prestigious Future Policy Award 2010

From The Costa Rica News

From the global summit on biodiversity in Nagoya, Japan , Costa Rica was announced as the winner of the 2010 Future Policy award.

The prize, issued by the World Future Council, in recognition of the country’s 1998 biodiversity law. The Central American country would like to be the first developing nation to meet UN biodiversity commitments.

Costa Rica funnels funds from a fuel tax, to pay for nature reserve management and environmental services like clean air and biodiversity protection.

Forest cover has risen from 24% in 1985 to close to 46% today because landowners are paid to preserve old-growth forests and to plant new trees.

Costa Rica ranks third in the global Environmental Performance index and first in the Happy Planet index.

Just this month, the country has also received nearly $56m in donation and debt write-offs, to expands in forest and marine conservation efforts.

To read the full story on The Costa Rica News click here

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Costa Rica Investments in Bio-fuel, and Sustainable Agro Developments

The Costa Rica News 19th October 2010

TRCN staff

Central America and especially Costa Rica has seen a large surge in Biofuel initiative. There new Biofuel cooperative projects, intercropping (with food and oil bearing plants) development, including a new investment wave called Multi Purpose Real Estate, UBA (United Biofuels of America.

Investing in bio-fuel is profitable in the short term and long term and helps reduce dependency on unstable foreign sources.

Here in Costa Rica the governmental bodies have full buy-in to renewable energy and sustainable agro developments.

Costa Rica is attempting to produce ethanol and biodiesel on a large enough scale to eventually reduce or even replace petroleum fuel. The state oil company, Recope, is constructing a large processing plant, the government is about to release a plan for the industry’s development, and the Institute for Agrarian Development, is engaged in research projects for certain products to convert to biofuels.

At present, ethanol is produced from sugar cane and to a lesser extent from yuca (cassava), a root crop. There is some production of bio-diesel from African Palm oil. Research is ongoing with respect to very promising oil seed crops for biodiesel, higuerilla and jatropha.

There is ample opportunity for investments in these crops to supply a local and international market. Petroleum prices are expected to remain at high levels. Biofuels reduce vehicle emissions when mixed with or replace gasoline or diesel. However, when biofuels are produced on a large scale there are also large scale environmental and social consequences, especially when the source of ethanol is corn or soybeans for biodiesel or when growing crops that displace food crops or convert forests to crop lands.

These adverse environmental and social consequences are mitigated when biofuel crops are grown on land that had been previously deforested and converted to cattle pasture. In Northern Costa Rica there are vast expanses of unproductive cattle pasture, much of it mechanizable and not requiring irrigation. This is a good opportunity to promote the conversion of cattle lands to socially useful and productive crops. This is already occurring with the proliferation of pineapple, root crop, and palmito plantings. However, it makes good sense to plant many more food crops there, such as rice, beans, and animal feed, while still leaving space for biofuel crop cultivation.

Presently, there is a project that involves an effort to plant thousands of hectares of jatropha in Costa Rican and other countries. The oil from the seed is converted to diesel and no modification of diesel motors is required. Yield is high, production costs for the hardy plant are low, and demand is potentially infinite, including for aviation fuel. The company engaged in the project invites equity participation, as well as offering technical assistance and production contracts to growers.

An excellent investment for animal feed is in pejibaye, a palm nut fruit that is very high in protein and other nutrients. Research on pejibaye has demonstrated that it is superior to corn or other grains for animal feed, especially for poultry. The fruit is also very nutritious for human consumption, including for baby food. Pejibaye palm is very productive, much higher yield than grains, and has a low cost of production. Costa Rica spends hundreds of millions of dollars annually in importing grains for animal feed and development of this high yield crop would be an excellent import-substitution measure and help reduce the nation’s chronic balance of payment deficits. The export market for prepared chicken feed would also be excellent. To accomplish this on a large enough scale to make a difference will require the support of the Ministry of Agriculture, the Institute for Agrarian Development, and other government planning institutions.

With recent increases in food prices Costa Rican officials and the general public has become concerned about food sovereignty, that is the cost and availability of food imports. While Costa Rica is largely self-sufficient in fruits and vegetable, dairy products, and meat and fish, this is far from the case with the basic staples of the population’s diet, rice and beans. Domestic production accounts for less than half national consumption of these staples. Corn and other grains are almost entirely imported. There is ample land for mechanized cultivation of these crops, especially in the Northern Zone.

To read the full story go to The Costa Rica News 19th October 2010

Monday, October 18, 2010

Costa Rica to increase protected areas from 25% to 26% of its surface area

By MARIANELA JIMENEZ Associated Press Writer

SAN JOSE, Costa Rica—The Costa Rican government is receiving nearly $56 million in donations and debt write-offs to expand its forest and marine conservation programs and become the first developing country to meet U.N. goals on protected areas.

Costa Rica will use the funds to increase its protected tropical forests from 25 percent of its national territory—1.3 million hectares (3.2 million acres)—to 26 percent, said Zdenka Piskulich, the manager of the trust created with the funds.

The goal is to meet Costa Rica's commitments on environmental protection under the U.N. Convention on Biological Diversity by 2015, Piskulich said Friday. If successful, Costa Rica would be the first developing country to fulfill those commitments.

The Central American country, known for its burgeoning eco-tourism industry, also hopes to triple the size of its protected territorial waters. Less than 0.1 percent of Costa Rica's waters are currently protected.

"The convention establishes that every ecosystem should be protected in good measure. Costa Rica is doing well with 25 percent of its land, but it has a great debt when it comes to marine areas," Piskulich said.

Under the plan, the U.S. agreed to buy back $27 million of Costa Rica's foreign debt, money that will be used instead to invest conservation programs. The U.S. already trimmed $26 million of Costa Rican debt in 2007 as part of the U.S. Tropical Forest Conservation Act. The debt now stands at $77 million.

With the aid and write-offs, Costa Rica will work "to turn what has been promise into reality," Environment Minister Teofilo de la Torre said.

Under the act, the U.S. has provided $135 million in aid to 11 countries since 1998, including Panama, El Salvador, the Philippines and Bangladesh.

"Costa Rica is a global leader in conservation and this agreement today is an important investment to continue the expansion and protection of the incredible biodiversity found in Costa Rican forests," U.S. Ambassador Anne Andrew said.

Costa Rica is receiving another $19.9 million from private organizations including the Linden Trust for Conservation, the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation and the Walton Family Foundation. Another $9 million is coming from The Nature Conservancy, an international non-govermental organization.

"In our case, we identified areas in Costa Rica that are worth permanently conserving, and we saw a government and a society committed to their conservation," said Roger Ullman, executive director for the Linden Trust for Conservation.

The sites that will benefit from the initiative, called "Costa Rica Forever," include the Cocos Island National Park, Corcovado National Park and the Golfo Dulce and Pacific areas such as the Barra del Colorado and Gandoca shelter, on the Atlantic coast.


To read the full original story in the Santa Cruz Sentinel, By MARIANELA JIMENEZ Associated Press Writer, click here

Friday, October 15, 2010

Reforestation Program begins in NatureWalk

Diego Camacho, Forestry Consultant & John Bryant, Director of Conservancy
in NatureWalk, discuss the reforestation program

For every lot sold in NatureWalk, PRG group have committed to plant 600 trees between on and offsite locations.

The reforestation scheme has now started.

1,000 seedlings are currently being planted in a seedling nursery and the planting of the seedlings has commenced within the Finca.

Diego Camacho Forestry Consultant examines one of the teak seedlings

John Bryant director of the NatureWalk Conservancy project and Diego Camacho, Forestry Consultant will oversee the program which will ensure that the ecological integrity and sustainability of NatureWalk is maintained throughout its development


Alberto, head of forestry maintenance in NatureWalk and
manager of the nursery planting seedlings in NatureWalk

Monday, October 11, 2010

NatureWalk Conservancy Project Begins

NatureWalk is committed to developing on an ecological and sustainable basis. A part of that commitment is the reforestation and tree planting to be carried out. 600 trees will be planted both on and offsite for every development lot sold in NatureWalk.




John Bryant is the director of Conservancy and Diego Commancho is the forestry engineer.




Thursday, October 7, 2010

Extreme Homes in Costa Rica

Costa Rica is the home of some of the mst eco friendly sustainable homes in the world. Have a look at the video below to see just one of these incredible homes.




To see a fantastic Eco-friendly sustainable village in Costa Rica on ABC News click here:

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Costa rican Company selected in Top 25 Energy Entrepreneurs

Daniel Yepez of United Biofuels of America (UBA) is one of an elite few has been selected by Shell Oil sponsored program - Energy Entrepreneurs.

UBA is based in Costa Rica and concentrates on Biofuel development. The various initiatives are part of the Million Gallon Challenge - a goal to produce one million gallons of green diesel per day.

UBA's most recent project is the Multi Purpose Real Estate. Investors in this program benefit from quarterly returns from Japtropha and maca-uba growing on their development land. These lots are part of a gated community and are fully serviced with water, electricity and road access.

Investors can choose to build sooner or later whilst their "oil field" grows them money every day. Alternatively the pure investor can benefit from the quarterly returns and the rapid appreciation of land prices.

To read more about Shell's Energy Entrepreneurs click here

To read more about this project click here.

To read more about UBA in The Costa Rica News click here

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Webinar Thursday 30th September 1:00pm Eastern

Avoid the mistake many investors make when investing in Costa Rican Real Estate.


Attend the webinar and you'll find out more about:

  • Costa Rica
  • Real Estate Purchase in Costa Rica
  • Real Estate Ownership in Costa Rica
  • Teak / Timber and the investment opportunity
  • That big mistake many investors make and how to avoid it

Or register at the link below

https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/477352779

Monday, September 27, 2010

Costa Rican Economy expected to grow by 4.5% in 2010, 5% in 2011

Costa Rica's economy is expected to post solid growth of 4.5 percent this year and 5 percent in 2011 as it continues to invest in infrastructure and open up the telecommunications industry, the country's president said on Tuesday.

"We are efforting this push into Asian markets to increase the rate of growth. We have a very ambitious program," said Laura Chinchilla, President of Costa Rica, on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York.

The economy of this small Central American country, known for its eco-tourism and coffee production, will boost growth by improving infrastructure such as ports, and by opening and promoting markets such as electricity and telecommunications.

Costa Rica has trade agreements with China, Singapore and the European Union bringing the amount of free trade agreements to 42 and increasing trade to 92 percent of total exports. It is also starting negotiations with South Korea.

Chinchilla, the first woman president and just four months in government after succeeding Nobel laureate winner Oscar Arias, is set to increase competitiveness by continuing to educate and train its population of more than 4.6 million.

Costa Ricans take pride in the fact that they are the only country in the Americas without an army, and that since their independence about 50 years ago have established free education -- a competitive advantage difficult to emulate in a short period of time.

With a skilled work force, and political and social stability, Chinchilla's government hopes to capture $9 billion in foreign direct investment over the next four years.

In 2009 inflows of FDI reached $1.3 billion of which 57 percent were from the United States. Most of the inflows go to manufacturing, real estate, services, and tourism.

Economic growth has come from the services sector with 60 percent of gross domestic product, industry with 32 percent and agriculture with 8 percent.

"Today, after serious trade policies based on the promotion and diversification of exports and the attraction of foreign direct investment as key elements, Costa Rica exports more than 4,116 products to 135 countries around the world, with a net worth of $8.675 billion," Chinchilla said.

"Our total exports have increased over 60 percent in the last decade," she said. Imports however, reached $11.4 billion in 2009.

Chinchilla also stressed security and prevention of the high levels of organized crime that other neighboring countries have experienced as one of her key issues in her domestic agenda.

"We are trying to design a regional agenda in terms of security issues," Chinchilla said. "Our homicide rate is relatively low. We are just trying to prevent what has happened in other regional countries."

In terms of bond issues, the president of Costa Rica's promotion agency, Jose Rossi, said it would be favorable for the finance ministry to issue global bonds as global interest rates are low and as Costa Rica's credit rating was raised to investment grade earlier this month by Moody's.

The country has $1.25 billion in outstanding debt, divided into five different global bonds, one of them maturing next year. If and when the country issues, Rossi said part of the money will go to repay the maturity due, projects in infrastructure, education and other debt issues with multilaterals.

To read the full story in Reuters by Manuela Badawy click here

Costa Rica - No Artificial Ingredients

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Webinar Thursday 16th September - avoid the major mistake most investors make


Attend this webinar and you'll learn lots more about the SIP formula, investing in Costa Rica (and the pitfalls to avoid) and the main mistake that most investors make and how to avoid it.


In this informative webcast, host, James Cahill of Costa Rica Invest will also outline the investment dynamics of the NATUREWALK offering of LAND + TEAK FORESTRY + DEVELOPMENT USE.

Find out why this investment model performs BETTER that most and why it is SAFER that most. With the recent trends in the market indicating a turnaround is in process in the real estate, tourism and forestry sectors of Costa Rica, how will this trend effect the Land, the Forestry and Development components at NATUREWALK.



For those who are not familiar with Costa Rica, a quick presentation on the Country is offered as well as information on the NATUREWALK PROJECT and it's socio-economic objectives. Joining for this session is Tim Alexander of PRG Canada, the Developers of the NATUREWALK brand of ecological developments who will highlight the growing importance and influence on real estate development of trends concerning the environment, social responsibility and corporate governance.

This interactive webcast presentation will last approximately 20 minutes followed by a Q&A session.

Title: NATUREWALK The SIP formula Explained

Date:
Thursday, September 16, 2010

Time:
1:00 PM - 2:00 PM EDT

After registering you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the Webinar.

System Requirements
PC-based attendees
Required: Windows® 7, Vista, XP or 2003 Server

Macintosh®-based attendees
Required: Mac OS® X 10.4.11 (Tiger®) or newer




Costa Rica - The Ultimate Wellness Experience

Costa Rica is the place to go for the ultimate wellness experience. Allow your mind and body to relax, and feel whole, connectected and at peace with your self again.

The country is fast becoming one of the best places to visit for its fabulous wellness retreats offering spiritual awareness, guidance and natural foods and including Yoga, meditation, and rebalancing bodywork.

All of these life enriching activities can be enjoyed whilst taking in the beautiful views and appreciating the tropical climate.

Several of the wellness centres in Costa Rica have been internationally recognised for their commitment to the planet and individual health, as understanding nature helps us become more aware of ourselves.

you can read full story on Costa Rica's wellness experience in The Costa Rica News here

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Punjab seeks greenhouse farming techniques from Costa Rica

Indian representatives from the Punjab are currently visiting Costa Rica to investigate its greenhouse crop cultivation methods.

In total, they will be visiting 4 farms in the Alajuela region specializing in a number of different crops.

Hydroponics is the area of farming that is of most interest to the representives.

In the Punjab there is an urgent need for agriculutral diversification. the visit to Costa Rica is specifically to learn more about how crop yield and quality may be improved by using intensive hydroponic greenhouse farming methods.

Hydroponics is a technique of growing plants (without soil) in water containing dissolved nutrients.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Costa Rica to host environmental film festival

Costa Rica is hosting the first environmental film festival 25th September to 1st October in La Fortuna de San Carlos. It will be hosted by Costa Rican film maker Gustavo Solis-Moya and will include films from Europe, North America and Latin America.

To see the film festival website click here

To read the full story by Mike McDonald in the Tico Times Click here

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Webinar Thursday the 2nd of September


In this informative webcast, host, James Cahill of Costa Rica Invest outlines the investment dynamics of the NATUREWALK offering of LAND + TEAK FORESTRY + DEVELOPMENT USE.

Find out why this investment model performs BETTER that most and why it is SAFER that most. With the recent trends in the market indicating a turnaround is in process in the real estate, tourism and forestry sectors of Costa Rica, how will this trend effect the Land, the Forestry and Development components at NATUREWALK.



For those who are not familiar with Costa Rica, a quick presentation on the Country is offered as well as information on the NATUREWALK PROJECT and it's socio-economic objectives. Joining for this session is Tim Alexander of PRG Canada, the Developers of the NATUREWALK brand of ecological developments who will highlight the growing importance and influence on real estate development of trends concerning the environment, social responsibility and corporate governance.

This interactive webcast presentation will last approximately 20 minutes followed by a Q&A session for you to ask specific questions.




Title: "NATUREWALK The SIP formula Explained"
Date: Thursday, September 2, 2010
Time: 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM EDT

Register now by clicking the link below:

https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/271849042


After registering you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the Webinar.

System Requirements
PC-based attendees
Required: Windows(R) 7, Vista, XP or 2003 Server

Macintosh(R)-based attendees
Required: Mac OS(R) X 10.4.11 (Tiger(R)) or newer

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Nic Marks - Ted Talk

Statistician Nic Marks talks about the Happy Planet Index in his Ted Talk.

Is measuring a countries finances a true measure of a country's wealth? What do people want, is it money or happiness?

Friday, August 27, 2010

Costa Rica tops the polls for Single Travellers

The magazine Travel and Leisure in a recent survey places Costa Rica at number 1 as the best country in the world for the solo traveller.

Travel and Leisure Magazine assessed a number of factors to prepare its listing of the 15 best destinations for solo travellers - safety, happiness of the people and many more.

Using a combination of the Global Peace Index (Costa Rica ranks 26th of 149 countries surveyed) which ranks countries for their peacefullness and the Happy Planet Index (Costa Rica ranks number 1 of 143 countries suveyed) which compares the happiness of a nation's population to its ecological footprint, the magazine prepared a listing of the 15 best destinations worldwide for solo travellers.

And number one on that list was Costa Rica.


If you're planning a trip to Costa Rica (either singly or in company), don't forget that our company's travel arm Everything Costa Rica can help you with accomodation, car hire, tours and much much more. If you'ld like Everything Costa Rica to assist you just click here and you can contact us.

To see the full article in Travel and Leisure Magzine click here


Monday, August 23, 2010

What makes Land Valuable

Tim Alexander from PRG discusses just why land becomes valuable, explains how to value land and the concept of residual value.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Nature Walk Summer Newsletter released

The NatureWalk Summer newsletter has been published and you can download your copy here or by clicking on the image below.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Webinar - Buy Land they aint malking any more of it


Join us for a webinar on Thursday August 19th (1:00pm Eastern, 6:00pm BST, 5:00pm GMT)

Space is limited.

Reserve your Webinar seat now at:
https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/718958275

James Cahill, Costa Rica Invest, discusses land, development land, land price trends, factors affecting land prices, the investment opportunities, the upsides and the pitfalls to avoid.


By the end of the webinar you will know more about lands economic trends and specifically lots more about Costa Rican land.


Nature Walk, a combination investment opportunity in Land, Teak, Development Usage with Ecological Advantages will also be introduced.



The opportunity is also suitable for those with a medium term plan of having a home in Costa Rica.

Better still, as a small thank you for attending we would love to send you a gravity defying teak wine bottle holder. This is hand carved from teak from Nature Walk. So don't forget to give your full address details and we'll ship direct to your door after the webinar. We have a limited number so the first 25 registrant attendees only!!

Title: "Buy Land - they aint making any more of it"

Date:
Thursday, August 19, 2010

Time:
1:00 PM - 2:00 PM EDT

After registering you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the Webinar.



System Requirements
PC-based attendees
Required: Windows® 7, Vista, XP, 2003 Server or 2000

Macintosh®-based attendees
Required: Mac OS® X 10.4.11 (Tiger®) or newer

Friday, August 13, 2010

Costa Rica country profile

By: BBC News
Saturday, 8 May

For decades Costa Rica has stood out for its stability and has benefited from the most developed welfare system in the region.

It has no standing army, and its citizens enjoy one of the highest life expectancy levels in the Western hemisphere and better living standards than their war-torn neighbours.


Overview

Traditionally dependent on coffee, banana and beef exports, Costa Rica has diversified its economy. The opening of a large computer chip plant in the late 1990s was a fillip to the economy, but its fortunes have been subject to the fluctuating world demand for microchips.


Tourism is Costa Rica's main source of foreign exchange. Its tropical forests are home to a profusion of flora and fauna, including 1,000 species of orchid and 850 species of birds, such as macaws and toucans.

Politics:


Costa Rica's first female president, Laura Chinchilla, succeeded elder statesman and nobel laureate Oscar Arias on 8 May 2010

Economy:

One of Central America's most affluent countries; Costa Ricans voters narrowly approved a free trade deal with the US in 2007.


Timeline

Tourism is Costa Rica's main source of foreign exchange. Its tropical forests are home to a profusion of flora and fauna, including 1,000 species of orchid and 850 species of birds, such as macaws and toucans.

The Caribbean coast with its swamps and sandy beaches is also a big draw. But Costa Rica is trying to shake off its reputation as a destination for sex tourists.

While relatively free of crime, Costa Rica has been used as a transit point for South American cocaine and there have been allegations that drug-tainted money has found its way into the coffers of the two main political parties.

Once dubbed the "Switzerland of Central America", the country's self-image was badly shaken in 2004 when allegations of high-level corruption led to two former presidents being imprisoned on graft charges.

Facts

•Full name: Republic of Costa Rica
•Population: 4.6 million (UN, 2009)
•Capital: San Jose
•Area: 51,100 sq km (19,730 sq miles)
•Major languages: Spanish (official), English
•Major religion: Christianity
•Life expectancy: 76 years (men), 81 years (women) (UN)
•Monetary unit: 1 Costa Rican colon = 100 centimos
•Main exports: Coffee, bananas, sugar, textiles, electronic components, electricity
•GNI per capita: US$6,060 (World Bank, 2008)
•Internet domain: .cr
•International dialling code: +506


Leaders

President: Laura Chinchilla

Laura Chinchilla won a landslide victory in February 2010 to become the country's first woman to be elected president. She took up office in May 2010.


Ms Chinchilla is the first presidenta in a long line of Costa Rican presidentes
Ms Chinchilla is a career politician who was born into a political family and served as public safety minister, congressional deputy and most recently as vice president and justice minister in the cabinet of her predecessor, Nobel peace laureate President Oscar Arias.

She promised to continue Arias's moderate free-market policies and expand Costa Rica's web of free trade agreements. She has also backed liberalization of Costa Rica's state-controlled electricity and telecommunications sectors.

Married with a teenage son, Ms Chinchilla is a social conservative, opposing gay marriage, abortion and any change to Roman Catholicism's position as the state religion. Supporters regaled her with rosaries during her campaign, including one she wears constantly for good luck.

During her election campaign she promised to boost education spending as well as increase funding for law enforcement and create an anti-drug czar to oversee the growing struggle against drug smugglers who are using Costa Rica as a transit route.

The election of Ms Chinchilla follows an increasingly common trend in many Latin American countries: Nicaragua, Panama, Chile and Argentina have all elected women as presidents.

In the simultaneous parliamentary polls, Ms Chinchilla's centrist National Liberation Party failed to win a majority in the 57-member Congress, making the forging of alliances a necessity.

"Dialogue has to become a permanent instrument for the exercise of power," Ms Chinchilla commented after her victory.

For decades Costa Rica has stood out for its stability and has benefited from the most developed welfare system in the region.



Media

Costa Rica enjoys a vibrant media scene, with nine major newspapers, private and public TV stations and a busy FM radio dial. Cable TV is widely available.

Press freedom group Reporters Without Borders describes the country's media as "fairly free". Libel laws and a law which ensures the right of reply for individuals criticised in reports are in force.

The press

•Al Dia - daily
•Diario Extra - daily
•El Heraldo - daily
•La Nacion - daily
•La Prensa Libre - evening
•La Republica - daily
•The Tico Times - English-language weekly
Television


•Teletica (channel 7) - private
•Repretel (channels 4, 6, 11) - private
•Conexion (channel 2) - private
•Canal 13 - public
Radio


•Radio Reloj - popular national radio
•Radio Columbia - news and talk
•Radio Monumental - news and talk
•Radio Nacional - public
•Radio Faro del Caribe - religious
•Radio Uno - commercial
•Radio Dos - commercial
•Radio Eco - news


By: BBC News






To read more stories on BBC News, Please click Here.



Thursday, August 12, 2010

Costa Rica and Offshore Investment

By: The Costa Rica News
Online English News Paper

Aug 9th, 2010

Costa Rica’s offshore investment has increased steadily over the past 15 years.

The largest areas of growth is still real estate, but new growth sectors in Biofuels and Medical Travel has seen a sharp rise in the past 5 years.

Costa Rica is a country that is reputed to be the safest and most business friendly of tax havens in Latin America for new businesses, offshore investments and offshore incorporation. Costa Rica treats onshore and offshore businesses in the same manner. The basis of taxation is territorial, with both residents and non-residents paying tax on Costa Rican income, while foreign-source income is not taxed.

Costa Rica is located in the centre of the American Continent and lies just above Panama. The capital and financial centre is San Jose. Costa Rica is one of the most discreet offshore centers in the world and enjoys economic and political stability making it a popular tax haven. Its legal system is based on the Spanish Civil Law.

Features and advantages of offshore incorporation in Costa Rica

Territorial taxation

Provided that the offshore company activities are carried on outside of Costa Rica, the offshore company will not be subject to any income taxes. There is no double tax treaties, thus no information exchange regarding the goods and services transferred. There is no reporting or accounting requirements for offshore company in this tax haven.

Tax free trading with the US

The recently approved Central America Free Trade Agreement with the United States will enable any Costa Rican company to trade with the US markets tax free, which opens to any company one of the biggest markets in the world. Similar Agreements were signed with Canada, Mexico, Chile, China and EC are being discussed.

Name Restrictions

Offshore companies names can be in Spanish and English and must end with S.A., to denote limited liability.

Trading Restriction

A Costa Rican company is not permitted to carry out banking, insurance, mutual fund management, public investment management or any associated activity.

Gaming Activities. Gambling license

In Costa Rica there is no specific gambling license for gaming activities or Casinos online. Corporation that execute online gambling or online casino activities work under a ”data processing license”. To obtain this license the corporation must have a physical location in Costa Rica.

Disadvantages

Costa Rica is not a member of the Hague Convention. This complicates the legalization of the corporate documents if the company plans opening bank accounts or representative offices outside Costa Rican tax haven.

Privacy of incorporation

To maintain offshore company owners’ privacy your lawyer or private corporation service company will form a company with their nominees – board members. Although the owners’ details will not be registered at the Registrar, they will be able to manage and control the company using a General Power of Attorney.

Fees

Incorporation of offshore company in Costa Rica ranges from $300 to $1500. This amount may include provision of board members for the first year; notarized Power of Attorney in favor of the company owner in English; the corporate package of documents in Spanish with notarized translation of main documents in English; services of registered agent and registered office for the first year of the offshore company existence and registering the company at the Revenue Office as an “inactive company”.

Some clients may need to legalize corporate documents for opening representative offices, bank accounts and similar purposes. Legalization fees depend on the rates of the consulates.

The following information is required for the incorporation:

1. Three alternative company names.

2. Full name and address of the manager(s), certified passport copy and proof of address.

3. Full name, address, and phone number to ship the corporate documents by a courier (DHL and FedEx).

Additional services related to the incorporation. Listed briefly they look as follows:

■assistance with opening an offshore bank account (funds can be controlled remotely via Internet. Credit cards are available);
■provision of mail forwarding address in Europe, USA. Mail is collected and forwarded (such an address may be necessary to receive sensitive business and private mail, e.g. bank correspondence, etc.
Provision of space on a web server - offshore WWW hosting. For active Internet users Costa Rica can offer anonymity in their Internet activities: sending email messages, browsing the Internet, electronic banking. All these activities can be conducted in complete privacy using advanced technology.





By: The Costa Rica News
Online English News Paper




To read more Articles like this please click Here.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Costa Rica: The People Make the Place

By Janet Grosshandler

“Nemo,” the bright orange 1978 Land Rover my son Jeff purchased for his months in Costa Rica, had broken down again. The rutted, dirt roads here take their toll on cars and trucks, and Nemo was having a very bad week. It was also the time I had just arrived from the States.


This was our first trip out after Nemo came back from Carlos the mechanic's “shop”—a tin-roofed fenced-in overhang in his backyard. Jeff’s fluency in “mechanic Spanish” reassured him that it now had new shocks, new tires, and all fluids checked, and was ready to go.

Five minutes along the winding mountain road, Nemo began belching black smoke and the temperature gauge shot to super hot. We pulled over on the tiny shoulder of the dusty two-lane road across from a grocery store. Since it was Sunday, a non-working day for Costa Ricans, several came out from the small store and offered to help.

We were given a ride home and Jeff was left on the side of the road, baking in the hot sun, borrowing someone’s cell phone to call Carlos.

An hour later, Jeff found us at the beach and he was in Carlos’ old SUV. Carlos, whose wife was at English school for the whole day, had his two-year-old son Leonardo in his care, but loaned Jeff the SUV car to come get us. Carlos then offered drive us around for the day because he wanted us to be happy.


And what a beautiful day! Leonardo was shy and sweet. He wasn’t very interested in us, but would glance out the side of his eyes, checking us over. Carlos took us to a Tico section of Conchal beach area, a turquoise, warm bay where we snorkeled and saw many species of tropical fish while he and Leonardo waited patiently at the beach bar/restaurant.


Costa Rican mountains and lush green vegetation surrounded the horseshoe shaped bay. The Tico music wafted from the open dining room, as Sunday was the day to relax and drink beer.

After we emerged from the fabulous snorkeling adventure, I looked around, amazed to see we were the only non-Costa Rican people there. Carlos had taken us to the Bar y Restaurante El Encanto, a local place, giving us a unique, non-tourist experience.

He spoke Spanish to Jeff all day, helping him practice his language skills, while pointing out multitudes of native trees, flowers, and animals. Carlos took us to “off the beaten track” local beaches. We drove the rural dirt roads to and from the beach, pulling over to watch some howler monkeys in the trees. Beautiful birds, armadillos, horses, and cattle lined the roads along the farms. It showed me the “real life” of these friendly, laid back natives of Costa Rica and their lifestyle. Carlos was patient and so helpful in explaining everything to me.


And when Carlos dropped us off at home much later that day, promising he would get the part needed for Nemo mañana, Leonardo waved a shy goodbye.

Costa Rican living has its small challenges, but its people are national treasures who, like Carlos, will stop his day to make yours better.

By Janet Grosshandler
From International Living Postcards