Monday, April 26, 2010

Tourism and Export Sectors Grow Strongly in Costa Rica

The Tico Times reported that the Costa Rican economy has shown strong growth in the first quarter of 2010, with Tourism and Exports being the primary drivers.

Marco Piñon, the IMF mission chief for Costa Rica, visited the country during the second week of April to conduct the third and final review of the IMF's $ 735 million Stand-By Arrangement with the Costa Rican government, a line of credit approved by the agency in April 2009 to “support the country's strategy to cope with the adverse global economic environment.”

During his weeklong visit, Piñon said that thanks to strong financial and business resurgence in the first few months of the year, the Costa Rican economy stands in good shape for 2010 and that “economic recovery in Costa Rica is firmly underway”.

“Economic growth rose in the second half of 2009 and remained strong in the first quarter of 2010,” Piñon said. “Consumer and business sentiment have firmed up and financial conditions have continued to improve. … The government's strategy to shield the economy from external shocks with (IMF) funds, which in the event were not used, helped preserve confidence, maintain stability, and protect the most vulnerable groups. A supportive fiscal policy has provided a boost to the recovery and a cautious monetary policy has allowed inflation to move to low levels.”

On Wednesday, the positive outlook was reinforced by an announcement by the Costa Rican Tourism Board (ICT) that 65,800 more tourists visited the country during the first three months of 2010 than during the same period in 2009, an 11.5 percent improvement over last year. The ICT estimates that over 636,000 tourists visited the country in the first three months of 2010.

Further evidence of the recovery was provided by the Foreign Trade Promotion Office (PROCOMER), which reported on Wednesday that national exports during the first three months of 2010 increased 16.8 % in comparison with the first quarter of 2009. Through the first three months of the year, the country raked in over $2.4 billion in exports, $352 million more than during the first quarter of 2009. A 463 percent improvement in sugar sales was the biggest highlight of the export sector. Sugar exports accounted for $29 million more during the first three months of 2010 than during the same period last year.

Read the full story in the Tico Times:
"Tourism and export sectors show strong first quarter"

By Adam Williams
Tico Times Staff |

Costa Rica celebrates Earth Day and reiterates committment to Carbon Neutraolity by 2021

Monday, April 19, 2010

Cute Introductory Video to Costa Rica

Webinar recording

The webinar, "Money Grows on Trees - True or False" on Thursday the 15th was a great success, with attendees from all over the world.

They will receive their beautiful hand carved, gravity defying wine bottle holders, made with teak from Nature Walk, over the coming weeks.

We also recorded the webinar and you can listen to the webinar (or download it to your computer to listen at your convenience) in the Free Downloads and Media section of the Costa Rica Invest website.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Costa Rica and Singapore SIgn Free Trade Agreement

Costa Rica has signed a free trade agreement with Singapore

The agreement will immediately cover 90.6% of Singapore's exports to Costa Rica and 100% of Costa Rica's exports to Singapore.

The remainder of Singapore's exports into Costa Rica will become tariff and tax free over the next 10 years.

You can read the full story on Asia One Business

Sunday, April 11, 2010

The ecological subdivision – a new concept in Real Estate

Costa Rica Invest and PRG Global Realty have recently launched Nature Walk close to Jaco, Costa Rica.

This development represents a totally new concept in real estate - the ecological subdivision.
Costa Rica Invest and PRG Global Realty have recently launched Nature Walk close to Jaco, Costa Rica.

This development represents a totally new concept in real estate - the ecological subdivision.
Fully serviced development lots in Nature Walk, come with the added benefit of 12 year old teak growing on them.

This teak growing on the lots provides additional security and returns for the purchasers of these lots.

James Cahill, from Costa Rica Invest comments “Nature Walk provides an ideal opportunity for both straightforward investors, wanting to benefit from future increases in land prices in Costa Rica, and also for those investors with a medium term plan to build a home in Costa Rica. When investors look at land banking as an investment opportunity, they are entirely dependent on an increase in land prices to generate a return on their investment and that return is only realized when the land is sold. With teak growing on the land, the returns from the teak combine with the appreciation of land prices to provide a double return.”

Tim Alexander, from PRG Global Realty adds “not only is Nature Walk ideal for pure investors, providing an attractive entry into the Costa Rican land market with the added returns and benefit of teak., but it is also ideal for those seeking a second home in Costa Rica. The return from the teak harvest on one or more lots will cover the entire costs of land purchase and provide a significant contribution to the building costs of your home in Costa Rica.”

Nature Walk has launched with a very attractive launch offer, offering initial lots at half the retail pricing with a 10% pa yield paid for 3 years by the developer.

Under the initial launch offer, purchases can be structured to provide full capital purchase cost repayment in 4 years, leaving initial purchasers with 60% of the initial land purchased and the added benefit of 16 year old teak trees growing on their fully serviced lots.

The teak can then be sold and the land developed or sold on in another 4 years.

Returns from the teak and any partial land sale at that time can be used to finance the building costs of a home on the remaining land

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Webinar - Nature Walk & receive a FREE teak wine bottle holder

Nature Walk Turribares, Costa Rica

Join us for a Webinar on April 15

Space is limited.
Reserve your Webinar seat now at:

James Cahill, Costa Rica Invest, will introduce an opportunity to invest in Nature Walk, Turribares, Costa Rica.

This early opportunity is suitable for investors - giving a guaranteed yield, reduction on retail pricing entry point and it comes with the added benefit of 12 year old teak.

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

The developer has apportioned just 6 ha to the pre-formation lot opportunity, so you will need to be ready to purchase.....

Better still, as a small thank you for attending we would love to send you a FREE 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.

Title: Nature Walk Turribares, Costa Rica

Date: Thursday, April 15, 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

Monday, April 5, 2010

First Teak from Nature Walk Milled

The first teak thinnings have been milled from Nature Walk, a unique sustainable ecological development in Costa Rica. These early millings have shown the teak to be of very high quality and ideal for building teak homes on site.

The first teak thinnings from Nature Walk have been milled and the milling has shown the teak to be of very high quality and suitable for the future construction of teak homes on the plantation.

Nature Walk located close to Jaco and overlooking the Pacific Ocean consists of fully serviced development lots of 1,000 m2 and upwards and the lots have the added advantage of the very valuable commodity teak growing on them.

Owners of the lots benefit not just from a fantastic location but also from the returns of the teak growing on their lots.

Teak has been used for 100's of years because of its hardness and durability. A natural oil occurring in teak wood makes it very resistant to pests and rotting and in turn this led to its popularity in boat building, a popularity which continues today.

Natural teak takes approximately 20 years to reach a suitable size for harvesting and commercial use. Some recently developed teak hybrids grow more quickly and take 15 years to reach a size suitable for harvesting.

Teak, however, is not a perishable commodity and the teak can be allowed to grow on beyond the 15 or 20 years and then harvested. In the meanwhile the trees have grown further and become even more valuable.

An interesting and little discussed fact about teak trees is that after felling the stumps will grow again and typically these stumps grow faster and produce more of the very valuable dark heartwood.

Currently milled teak fetches about six times the price of pine wood, four times the price of cherry wood and twice the price of mahogany.

A number of factors come into play in pricing teak:

- Growth Rate: teak is slow growing

- Supply: currently more than 95% of the world's teak comes from non-sustainable jungle sources. As world opinion has moved against the logging of our jungles supply of teak has fallen.

- Demand: teak remains in high demand and is particularly popular in the emerging economies of China and India.

World opinion continues to move against logging our jungles and Australia is currently considering making the import of illegally logged timber a criminal offense. Other countries look sure to follow Australia's lead.

Demand for timber is linked to world population growth and demand for teak will continue to increase inline with the world population growth. Demand will be further fueled by the emergence of new economies where teak is particularly popular.

Timber has been a steady performer over the last century and has typically out performed inflation by 3.2% per annum. Teak as a niche product has outperformed timber. Until sustainable teak production fills the demand for teak, teak looks to increase even more strongly in price over the medium term

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Costa Rica's Blue Flag Beaches

The Blue Flag Ecological Program was created in response to the imminent dangers of beach pollution, its repercussions on public health and the tourism industry.

The program is now in its twelfth year of operation.

A one star blue flag is granted to those beaches reaching at minimum 90% of the set out standards.

Two star blue flags are granted to those beaches reaching 100% of the standards required.

Three star blue flags are granted to those beaches reaching or exceeding the standards required and also providing security and beach rescue during high season and providing a complete integrated conservation plan for the area.

Four star blue flags are given to those beaches reaching all the criteria of a three star beach plus disabled facilities, recycling of all waste, permanent security and rescue teams, local emergency team and members of the "sanitary seal program"

You can see see a full map of Costa Rica's blue flag beaches here