Costa Rica economy – Gran Logia Costa Rica Tue, 10 May 2022 03:22:04 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Costa Rica economy – Gran Logia Costa Rica 32 32 EU GDPR coincides with huge drop in Android apps • The Register Mon, 09 May 2022 23:00:00 +0000

According to a study published on Monday, the European data protection regime has reduced the number of applications available on Google Play by “a third”, increasing costs and reducing the income of developers.

And with higher costs, fewer apps are created, to the detriment of consumers and the mobile app economy, he argues.

“At the start of our sampling period in July 2016, our data on the Google Play Store had 2.1 million apps, while AppBrain reported 2.2 million.26 The number of Play Store apps in our sample then drops to 2.8 million in the fourth quarter of 2017, and then drops to almost a million – around 32% – at the end of 2018. Apps available in AppBrain saw a similar decline, of 31% between the beginning of 2018 and end of 2018

In an article entitled “GDPR and the Lost Generation of Innovative Apps”, economics researchers Rebecca Janßen (ZEW Mannheim, Germany), Reinhold Kesler (University of Zurich, Switzerland), Michael Kummer (University of East Anglia, UK ) and Joel Waldfogel (University of Minnesota, USA) examined the impact of the European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) on the mobile application industry.

The paper, distributed through the US-based National Bureau of Economic Research, concludes that “whatever the privacy benefits of GDPR, it appears to have come with substantial costs for consumers from a reduced set of choices, and for producers from lower incomes”. and increased costs.”

Researchers examined 4.1 million apps available through Google Play between July 2016 and October 2019. Currently, Google Play has around 3.48 million apps, up from around 2.2 million in 2016. GDPR has been approved shortly before the investigation period, on April 27, 2016. but was not enacted until May 25, 2018.

App revenue can be generated through in-app purchases, in-app purchases, or in-app advertisements. Together, according to the document, the two largest mobile application platforms (Apple and Google) increased their total revenues from $43.6 billion in 2016 to $83.6 billion in 2019, two-thirds of which went to Apple.

Mobile ad revenue on the two platforms grew from $80.7 billion in 2016 to $189.2 billion in 2019, of which researchers say Google captured around $42.8 billion in 2016, rising to $95.9 billion in 2019. Mobile ad revenue during this period accounted for just over two-thirds of the app’s total revenue.

Under the GDPR, app developers face the cost of complying with rules that require consent for data collection, transparent data processing, purpose limitation, accuracy, limited retention, privacy and responsibility.

The research paper, which has been presented at various business conferences and will be submitted for publication in a journal, finds that the Android app market has been transformed by the GDPR. The number of Android apps fell by about a third in the quarters following the law’s implementation, according to the newspaper. And under GDPR, fewer new apps were created – new app entries fell by 47.2% – and usage of remaining ones fell by 45.3%.

In addition, the average number of users per app has increased by around 25% – users have migrated to quality apps – and apps have become “a little less intrusive after GDPR”, although it was already a pre-existing trend.

Cause and effect?

Dr. Lukasz Olejnik, researcher and independent privacy consultant, said The register in an email, he applauded the researchers for undertaking a delicate and complex study, but questioned whether the reported impact could really be causally linked to the GDPR.

“The authors are apparently unaware or unaware of the fact that before the GDPR, data protection laws also existed in Europe,” Olejnik said. “For example, when I read the following in the article: ‘Under GDPR, developers must obtain user consent to continue processing user data…’, I couldn’t Help me to think that this sentence was entirely true also before the GDPR.

The authors are apparently unaware or unaware of the fact that before the GDPR, data protection laws existed in Europe

“Data processors had to have an appropriate legal basis to process the data, one of them being consent. So what is the impact reported in the document? Non-compliance and privacy breaches before the GDPR?”

Olejnik said it’s important to recognize that privacy matters not just morally and ethically, but economically.

“The EU competition investigation process already recognizes this, by including privacy as an integral parameter of the welfare analysis – meaning that privacy is not just a valid concern ( it is a constitutional right in the European Union), but that it can be reconciled with economics and competition aspects,” Olejnik said. “This year, the European Commission will update more a dozen European competition laws, and I expect these updates to reflect the importance of privacy.”

Schrems speaks out

Max Schrems, honorary chairman of the noyb and lawyer/activist behind the Schrems I and Schrems II cases, said The register that although he cannot comment on the specifics of the article, he has seen a lot of backlash against GDPR.

“If GDPR was the big killer, we’d see tons of apps or websites that aren’t available in the EU, but are available in the US,” he said. “It’s actually a trend, but only in very specific cases (like US local media that have next to no EU readership and therefore simply don’t care to care about GDPR).”

Schrems suggested that there are various other factors to consider that don’t seem to be considered, such as periodic app store purges. He also asked why a side-by-side comparison with US and European applications had not been attempted.

“Some ‘flashlight apps’ may be gone by now, but I don’t know if anyone is missing them,” he said. “I guess people have more demands for good quality apps, and those apps usually don’t do terrible things with your data, so they don’t need to adapt to GDPR. So instead of counting the number of apps, it would probably be more important to see if any quality or relevant apps have disappeared.”

“In summary, we haven’t come across any relevant apps taken out of the EU because of GDPR in the last three years we’ve worked on,” Schrems said. “We haven’t received any emails or comments to that effect either (and we get complaints about everything). So personally I have my doubts if it’s really a ‘thing’ …”

In a telephone interview, co-author Michael Kummer, a senior lecturer at the University of East Anglia in the UK, said: “We recognize the use and potential value of data and privacy regulation users in the digital sphere, but it looks like GDPR – for all the value it could have generated – has come at a very high cost for innovation in the app market.”

Kummer said the one-third drop sounds scary, but the document points out that those apps only accounted for 3% of app usage. “These applications are, in large part, like Max [Schrems] suspicious, unnecessary,” he said. “That’s not the problem. … The problem is that entering the app market has become much less attractive. And we’re seeing a much lower number of new apps being created.”

Kummer pointed out that what he and his colleagues had calculated was the long-term market equilibrium. “If this continues in the long term, and if the EU or the app market does not find a solution to this problem, then seven to ten years later the app market will be a third less valuable,” said he explained. .

Responding to Olejnik’s suggestion that researchers may have forgotten that other privacy regulations predate GDPR, Kummer, who is Austrian, said he and two of his co-authors were native speakers. German and the fourth also spoke German, and all are familiar with European privacy laws.

“Our main argument is that compliance with the law involves costs for a developer who has not respected [GDPR and related data protection] principles before the regulations come into force,” he said.

Kummer said he hopes the document will encourage regulators to examine what the laws actually do and make adjustments if necessary.

“It is extremely difficult to assess the causal effect of these laws,” he said, noting that there is no equivalent to a pharmaceutical industry controlled trial when it comes to regulating the drug. market.

“We publish these policies and we don’t actually design any randomized controlled trials or any sort of methodological approach to how to assess what the new regulations do to businesses in the marketplace. That’s the missing piece here.” ®

Cayman government orders study to end cable insulation Thu, 05 May 2022 10:20:18 +0000

Currently, the islands, which are a self-governing British Overseas Territory, have only two legacy cables connecting them to the outside world, the Cayman-Jamaica Fiber System (CJFS), which has been operational since 1997, and Maya-1, which entered service in 2000 (see map, TeleGeography).

Cayman’s Infrastructure Minister Jay Ebanks (pictured) said the islands’ government wanted to transform their international connectivity. “This initiative forms a key pillar of our strategy to ensure the Cayman Islands benefits from world-class connectivity to support the transformation of our economy and society into a thriving digital future.”

The government contracted professional services firm Grant Thornton to conduct the study, through New Jersey-based Pioneer Consulting. This “will be used to guide government decision-making regarding the progress of a major investment project in submarine cable infrastructure”.

Will McWilliams, head of utilities at Grant Thornton, said the firm “would bring both our own global experience on large infrastructure projects and the specialist submarine cable expertise of Pioneer Consulting to the our team”.

The Cayman Islands have a population of 70,000, only two-thirds of that of Tonga, whose communications were cut off earlier this year when the only cable was severed by a volcano. This event led to calls to build a second cable to Tonga to increase resilience.

According to the Cayman News Service, the government is paying Grant Thornton 250,000 Cayman dollars ($305,000) for the project.

The 25-year-old CJFS, owned by Cable & Wireless Networks, itself now owned by Liberty Latin America, has two landing stations in the Cayman Islands and terminates in Bull Bay, Jamaica.

Maya-1, just three years younger, stretches from Florida to Colombia, with landing stations in Costa Rica, Honduras, Mexico and Panama. It is owned by multiple carriers, including América Móvil, AT&T, Orange, Sparkle, and Verizon.

A keen observer of the Caribbean submarine cable industry commented Ability that some operators claim that a new cable will only be necessary if there is five times the traffic in 10 years.

“That equates to 17% year-over-year growth,” said the person, who did not wish to be named. Yet, “Internet traffic in advanced economies is growing by 20-40% per year. So this growth scenario is actually very likely.

Additionally, this person said, “Caimans has less traffic per user than comparable economies due to high prices.”

Out-of-home coffee consumption is growing in Costa Rica Tue, 03 May 2022 13:36:16 +0000

QCOSTARICA – Drinking coffee outside the home is a growing trend in Costa Rica, according to a study of coffee, machines, uses and habits in Central America, revealing that 73% of Costa Ricans prefer to drink coffee machine when they consume this drink outside. the House.

The four aspects highlight why the Tico prefers to consume coffee from the machine, the reason being its flavor (78%), the speed of obtaining it (41%), and its convenience and variety (22% and 24 % respectively).

In most Central American countries, consumers drink one to two cups of coffee a day and, if they are away from home, they first drink coffee from a machine.

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In Costa Rica, 25% drink one cup a day, while 23% drink two cups.

The Zenith Global study also showed the times of day when Costa Ricans prefer to consume this drink: 71% drink it in the afternoon, 67% at night and 55% in the morning.

A special occasion is not necessary for coffee consumption. The survey reveals that 63% of Ticos (Costa Ricans) consume coffee at work, 47% at all hours and, finally, 45% when going out with friends.

Progress in out-of-home coffee consumption

The arrival of the pandemic in 2020 has also brought changes and opportunities for the out-of-home consumption segment, including coffee consumption. One of them has been the leap made by electronic commerce, the transaction of goods and services by computerized means – mainly those carried out on the Internet -.

Globally, online sales of Nestlé’s out-of-home business grew nearly 50% in the second quarter of 2020, according to the World Coffee Portal. The reality in Costa Rica is not very different. According to Digital Market Outlook 2020, Costa Rica achieved a 48% growth in digital sales.

“From our business as a food and beverage solutions provider to the food service, hospitality and bakery segment, challenges have also brought us opportunities. On the one hand, to strengthen the acceleration of technologies and services for e-commerce, enabling agile, one-click access for our customers; which in turn had to lighten their digital platforms to bring the end products to consumers,” explained Andrés Calatroni, Regional Director of Nestlé Professional.

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A second opportunity was the increase in local purchases of raw materials. In January 2021, Nestlé Professional launched 100% domestic whole bean coffee in Costa Rica under the iconic Nescafé brand.

This launch is associated with support for the revival of the local economy, by supporting more than 1,000 producer families throughout the national territory. Small and medium-sized businesses such as bakeries, cafeterias and convenience stores benefit from the latest technology in Nescafé coffee machines: they grind beans instantly and provide end consumers with a high-quality drinking experience.

For information

Nescafé uses 100% Costa Rican grain, distributing the resources to 15 Costa Rican microbenefits. Nestlé coffee comes from four main coffee growing regions in Costa Rica: Brunca, Guanacaste, Tarrazú and Occidente. The grain is assembled in Coopeldos, a 100% national cooperative in the Guanacaste region, which causes a very positive local sector for all actors and has an impact on even more families.

Recently, to further consolidate its presence in the country, Nestlé opened the first point of sale of its emblematic Nescafé brand at Juan Santamaría International Airport (San José), thanks to the alliance with Newrest – the commercial partner – of coffee Malinche TO GO. store.

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“We officially inaugurated the Nescafé co-branded cafeteria at Juan Santamaría Airport, offering the thousands of passengers who pass through this point each year the unique opportunity to enjoy the precious and exquisite 100% Costa Rican coffee bean. At the same time, we support local coffee producers. We are grateful to Newrest for their support because this is possible thanks to the creation of alliances with strategic partners like them”, concluded Calatroni.

In line with what Calatroni mentions, there is the hotel sector, which is recovering little by little after the pandemic. The Costa Rican Hotel Chamber (CCH) conducted a survey ahead of Semana Santa in which it predicted an average room occupancy rate of 77%; however, 83% of respondents said they expected an improvement in overall occupancy for the second quarter of the year.

“The hotel recovery is gradually accelerating. With the perception obtained for Easter, we hope that this will improve in 2022 and as a result more jobs will be generated in hotels, more tourism and the economy will be reactivated,” said Flora Ayub, Executive Director of CCH.

In Costa Rica, Nescafé is the leading brand of coffee consumed outside the home. With over 1,500 vending machines placed in stores such as bakeries, cafeterias, gas stations, office centers and convenience stores.

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The Coastline Makeover Will Be Uhuru’s Most Remarkable and Lasting Legacy Sun, 01 May 2022 21:00:01 +0000
Painted buildings in Mombasa. [Standard]

After leaving the Likoni Ferry crossing, something is quite noticeable for any old visitor to the south coast. Jostling for attention with political campaign posters is a facelift on shops and residential homes. It is as if the owners stumbled upon a treasure of white rock. Sewn with a gray cement thread, the spectacle is pleasant to watch. Rows and rows of houses lining the main road have been redone with white rock.

The sprawl of mud-walled houses gives way to something new. And the “before and after” are quite visible even with the naked eye – mud houses stand alongside new ones at different stages of construction: there are individual units, bungalows, mansions and two-storey houses.

What explains the sudden explosion of investment in permanent coral rock houses? A windfall of the political season, perhaps? The unlikely answer is in necessity, invention and innovation. However, there is also something else.

The houses are built astride the new road linking the north coast to the south coast. And so the swanky new homes complete what will be the total South Coast remake.

During a tour last week with officials from the Japanese Embassy and JICA, I discovered Mombasa’s best-kept secret – the Mombasa Port and Road Development Project, an expenditure of Japanese and Kenyan government infrastructure that began in 2016. Long the mainstay of the coastal economy, the port area is rapidly changing. When complete (in 2027), the transformation will propel the entire North and South Coast into big city realms served by a world-class infrastructure package of water, land and air. A boost that will surely change the region from a region folded in on itself to take its place in the national economy.

If nothing else, the renovation – a huge social investment – ​​will be President Uhuru Kenyatta’s most visible and lasting legacy anywhere else in the country.

The Dongo Kundu Special Economic Zone (DKSEZ) located on 3,000 acres of land will be a logistics and manufacturing hub. It includes a free port, a free zone, an industrial park, a tourist park and a residential area served by a new port (handling over a million TEUs currently), a new bypass road (the engineering marvel what is the 26 km Mombasa Southern By-pass with two bridges and a viaduct), a redone airport, the SGR, a power station and a water and sewage treatment point. The cost of the remake is almost 40 billion shillings, which is 25 billion shillings less than the original cost of the Nairobi highway. The massive project includes digging hard rock, laying bridges over deep water and marshland, and leveling ridges and valleys without destroying the natural habitat of the mangrove trees.

There is so much to be gained from such a targeted investment. The DKSEZ (there are 15 other special economic zones across the country), which is expected to attract 200 billion shillings of investment, is expected to generate at least 100,000 direct jobs and boost the nascent tourism industry. Its potential is to shift the coast from labour- and commodity-intensive agricultural activities to more technology-driven value-added productivity.

It’s not reinventing the wheel so to speak; By streamlining exports and imports at the country’s seaport, President José Maria Figueres transformed Costa Rica from a banana republic of 14 million people into one of the most developed countries in the Caribbean in less than a year. decade between 1994 and 1998. He did so by creating a cluster in electronics and information technology. It lured US tech giant Intel to build its assembly and test plant in Costa Rica, which led to the injection of $300-500 million into the economy.

To influence the leaders of Intel, Costa Rica has implemented strategic social investments (road and ICT infrastructure, macroeconomic stability, good customs system, competitive economy and efficient financial system).

Many will agree that in development and progress there are many moving parts. In addition to having a visionary leader in Figueres, Costa Rica enjoyed political stability, its courts were renowned for their independence and integrity. Its health system was among the best in Latin America and it had educated and qualified human capital.

The coral stone had been there for ages. No one has just bothered to put it to good use or help residents think of ways to benefit them, until 2022. The DKSEZ will need a facilitator to give it wings . Without it, it will lie there, unused, another white elephant.

The upcoming elections (in August) offer the people of Mombasa a chance to break with the past and savor new possibilities.

Mr. Kipkemboi is Editor of Partnerships and Special Projects, Standard Group

Q1 2022 GDP Doesn’t Mean a Recession Isn’t Imminent Fri, 29 Apr 2022 19:51:54 +0000

After the GDP news broke, we discovered that consumer spending grew even faster than we thought. Personal consumption grew in March by 1.1% in nominal dollars and 0.2% after inflation, with inflation calculated conservatively in “chained” 2012 dollars. In February, Commerce reported last month that personal consumption rose 0.2%, but on Friday it was revised upwards 0.6% (0.1% after inflation). We are a country where people spend more than they have, and that is reflected in the trade report. Disposable income, which has mostly fallen in recent months after inflation, fell 0.4% after inflation in March, even as consumer spending rose 0.2% after inflation.

What were we spending our money on? Mainly services, which took a hit during the height of the Covid outbreak because when you consume services (eating a meal out, say, or flying to Paris) you have to interact with potentially contagious humans . Spending on services only returned to pre-Covid levels in June 2021, and it has increased strongly since, led in March by international travel (as anyone who has recently purchased an international plane ticket may have noticed).

Spending on the purchase of manufactured goods is a more complicated story. Spending on “durable goods” like automobiles fell due to ongoing overseas supply chain issues. But spending on “non-durable” goods like gasoline has increased, largely because of Putin’s war in Ukraine. Consumer spending on gasoline has increased nearly 18% since Januarya period during which the price of gasoline has increased about 27 percent. This is what economists mean when they call the demand for a certain product “inelastic”. When gas prices go up, you may be able to cut back on your driving a bit, but you’ll mostly end up paying through the nose.

UN report warns of weaker economic growth in Latin America in 2022 Wed, 27 Apr 2022 19:56:11 +0000

Published on:

Santiago (AFP) – Economic growth in Latin America and the Caribbean will be weaker than expected at 1.8% this year due to the war in Ukraine, a UN body said on Wednesday.

In 2021, the region’s gross domestic product (GDP) was 6.2%, and the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) in January predicted growth of 2.1% for 2022. .

But in a statement on Wednesday, he adjusted the figure down, saying the war has increased inflation, raising financial volatility and costs.

“The economies of Latin America and the Caribbean face a complex conjuncture in 2022 due to the war between Russia and Ukraine, which introduces a new source of uncertainty for the global economy,” he said. he declares.

South American economies are expected to grow by 1.5%, Central America and Mexico by 2.3% and the Caribbean (excluding Guyana) by 4.7%, ECLAC said.

“The war in Ukraine has also caused an increase in the prices of raw materials, mainly fossil fuels, some metals, food and fertilizers,” he added.

Along with rising costs due to supply chain disruptions, rising prices have caused inflation in some countries to reach historic highs in 2022.

Last month, regional inflation was estimated at 7.5% and many central banks forecast high and sustained inflation for the rest of the year.

As growth slows, the agency also warned of higher unemployment rates.

For Brazil, the region’s largest economy, ECLAC predicts growth of 0.4% for 2022.

His projection for Mexico was 1.7%, for Argentina 3.0%, Venezuela 5.0%, Colombia 4.8%, Chile 1.5%, Peru 2 .5% and Costa Rica 3.7%.

The Role of Social Organizations in Health Promotion: Experiences of Social Participation in Response to the Pandemic – PAHO/WHO Tue, 26 Apr 2022 02:13:28 +0000

DATE: Tuesday, May 3, 2022

WEATHER: 1:30-3:00 p.m. (EDT)


The Americas region has been hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, which has had a profound social, economic and health impact on all countries in the region. At the same time, the pandemic has created opportunities for closer engagement with community and civil society organizations. Organized social actors are builders of healthier and more equitable societies, and their role in responding to emergencies such as that caused by COVID-19 is highlighted.

This webinar will present different experiences focusing on the role of social participation in the response to the pandemic. To this end, two case studies carried out in Brazil and Colombia on the responses and repertoires of collective action developed by social organizations in rural and urban contexts, including quilombola communities and favelas in Brazil, as well as urban communities and peasant organizations in Colombia, will be analyzed first. These studies were part of an effort promoted by the Department of Strengthening Country Preparedness of the World Health Organization (WHO) to explore participatory mechanisms in the response to the pandemic and were conducted under the direction of the Promotion and Health Promotion of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO). Social Determinants of Health Unit. Then, a joint initiative between the Ministry of Health and the municipalities of Costa Rica, with the support of the PAHO office in the country, which aimed to promote community participation for a shared management of the pandemic between the community and the government institutions, will be presented. An articulated response with primary care has been promoted as part of this initiative, giving central importance to the community as the main actor. The initiative was also evaluated.


1:30-1:35 p.m.

Presentation of the webinar

Andres de Francisco, Director, Department of Family, Health Promotion and Life Course (PAHO, WDC)


Antia Castedo, Consultant Health Promotion and Social Determinants of Health (PAHO, WDC)

1:35-1:50 p.m.

Brazil: Obstacles and facilitators to civil society engagement in a participatory and integrated response to the pandemic and other emergencies.

Richarlls Martins, Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (Fiocruz)

1:50 p.m.-2:05 p.m.

Colombia: Lessons learned from community experiences in Colombia in response to the pandemic.

Mauricio Torres Tovar, National University of Colombia


Costa Rica: Community engagement as a pillar of primary health care in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Gustavo Mery, Advisor on PAHO Health Systems and Services (Costa Rica)

2:20-2:35 p.m.


  • Regional social worker (to be confirmed)
  • Nellie Kartoglu, Department of Strengthening Country Preparedness (WHO, Geneva)
  • Orielle Solar, PAHO Social Determinants of Health Regional Advisor, WDC)

2:35-2:50 p.m.


2:50-2:55 p.m.

Video: Interview with Magda Gomes, social leader of the “A Rocinha Resiste” collective, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

2:55-3:00 p.m.

Closing remarks

Gerry Eijkemans, Head of Unit, Health Promotion and Social Determinants of Health (OPS)

The success of small countries or what’s wrong with being XXL in the global economy? Sun, 24 Apr 2022 07:20:37 +0000

The PMI index published some time ago by the National Bureau of Statistics of China indicates a downward trend. PMI figures show that in March, the manufacturing purchasing managers, non-manufacturing business activity and composite PMI production indices were at 49.5%, 48.4% and 48.8%, down from 0.7, 3.2 and 2.4 percentage points respectively compared to the previous month. All three indices have fallen below the critical point, suggesting that China’s overall economic prosperity level has begun to decline steadily. This, in fact, indicates that the country’s economic growth is still under tremendous pressure and the outlook for it in the first quarter is not exactly a bed of roses.

ANBOUND’s analysis of China’s economic data between January and February shows that the rebound in its domestic economy in the first two months would not be sustainable. The country’s overall economic growth therefore remains “low at the start, high at the end”. This basically means that the trend is gradually heading towards a “soft landing”. Although industrial production, consumption and investment in January-February all performed quite well, on the one hand it is the response of the global economy as part of the introduction of the intercyclical adjustment policies since the end of last year. In reality, the recovery of the country’s domestic economic engine remains insufficient. Beyond the scope of the data, the actual situation for SMEs and final consumption is not as optimistic as expected, and could even be worse. With monetary policy stalled and financial support still lagging since the start of the year, it is difficult for the macroeconomy to reverse the bottoming process.

The PMI for large companies in March was 51.3%, 0.5 percentage points lower than the previous month and 1.8 percentage points higher than the overall industry manufacturing. The PMI for midsize companies was 48.5%, 2.9 percentage points lower than the previous month and had actually fallen into the contraction range. The PMI for small businesses was 46.6%, which is consistently below the tipping point. This essentially corresponds to the continued pressure that terminals and small and medium enterprises are facing under the impact of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, some companies interviewed reported that due to the current epidemics, several problems arise. These include insufficient staff on duty, poor logistics and transportation, extended delivery times and other supply chain issues. All of these are the main factors behind the slowdown in the economy. The situation in the services sector is also somewhat similar. Sectors involving a greater number of people in close contact, such as rail transport, air transport, accommodation and catering have all been strongly affected by the pandemic. As a result, their business activities have declined significantly. The business activity index fell by more than 20.0 percentage points and businesses in general are facing increasing pressures. However, the activity index of certain industries such as telecommunications, radio, television, satellite transmission services, monetary and financial services is doing well, rising to more than 60.0%.

The drastic changes in situations across the globe in March also had a significant impact on China’s domestic economy: energy and raw materials. This not only increased supply chain tensions such as raw material supply, but also caused volatility in the Chinese capital market; second, the pressure from China’s COVID-19 prevention and control measures has increased, with some major economic regions in the country such as Shenzhen and Shanghai implementing “static management”. This not only has a huge impact on the local economy, but has also affected related regions and sectors accordingly, which puts pressure on the economy of the country as a whole.

Based on its objective judgment on the economic situation, ANBOUND has repeatedly stressed the need for sustainability and continuity of macroeconomic policies. We believe that amid the “low start, high end” growth trend, monetary policy should remain loose to maintain continued support for economic demand. The recent executive meeting of the State Council on the economic situation indicates that such a point of view is the subject of consensus at the level of political decision-making. The meeting mentioned that the current international situation is becoming more and more complex and serious, and because of this, the downward pressure on the Chinese economy is increasing. It is therefore necessary to place the objective of stable growth in a more prominent position, to coordinate it systematically, to adjust the structure and to push forward the reforms. The meeting also deliberated that policies aimed at stabilizing the economy should be released as soon as possible, while measures that are not conducive to stabilizing market expectations should not be introduced. It should also be noted that the formulation of specific plans to deal with the greatest uncertainty should be undertaken as early as possible. Contrary to the previous understanding that the Chinese economy shows early improvements, the competent authority in the current decision-making process now proposes that “it is necessary to anticipate and prepare for a worse situation in advance”. As the economy faces daunting challenges, achieving stable growth requires continued and healthy policy support.

The People’s Bank of China (PBoC) monetary policy meeting in the first quarter of this year pointed out that the current national economy in China is facing the triple pressure of “falling demand, disrupted supply and weakened expectations”. It would therefore be necessary to strengthen the country’s cross-cyclical and counter-cyclical adjustment. In addition, the PBoC also suggests that it would be essential to increase the implementation of prudent monetary policy and give full play to the role of monetary policy tools. With the dual function of total volume and structure, China’s structural monetary policy tools should actively aim for precision efforts, while taking the initiative to respond to challenges. The evolution of the content of these monetary policy meetings is indeed in contradiction with the judgment of the executive of the Council of State on the economy.

ANBOUND researchers believe that under the downward pressure on the economy, the possibility and feasibility of a monetary policy adjustment in the second quarter increases. The PBoC can improve financial supply on both the supply and demand side through structural and comprehensive policies. On the one hand, as mentioned in the central bank’s policy of promoting financial services to support rural revitalization, it will expand the scale and implementation of relevant structural financial instruments, and will likely continue to encourage small and medium-sized enterprises. banks to engage in related activities to reduce the required reserve ratio. This is also done in order to achieve the policy objective of directing financial resources towards small, medium and micro-enterprises and towards the green economy sector. In terms of overall policy, in line with the requirement to promote the stability of increasing credit growth, moderate easing will continue to be implemented, along with overall RRR reductions and gradual reductions in interest rates. guiding interests.

The economic downturn is likely to worsen if monetary policy fails to “prepare for the bad day” in February and March this year to provide sufficient support. Although increased support in terms of macroeconomic policies will not necessarily lead to rapid stabilization and a rebound of the economy, the possibility of a “hard landing” must be avoided. Under these circumstances, it would be both necessary and urgent for monetary policy to step up its easing in the future. As the Federal Reserve accelerates the pace of interest rate hikes and accelerates policy tightening, space and time for China’s moderate easing policies are facing constraints.

Bitcoin Beach Spawns Fast-Growing Offshoot in Costa Rica – Bitcoin Jungle Fri, 22 Apr 2022 21:00:00 +0000

The popular localization project is a model to replicate for areas looking to seize the opportunities offered by Bitcoin.

As a former resident of Venezuela, Josef Dvoracek knows a thing or two about inflation, economic mismanagement, and the risks of fiat currencies.

That’s why he was among the most enthusiastic pioneers of a new bitcoin payments ecosystem that has sprung up in that lush region of southern Costa Rica known as Costa Ballena (Whale Coast).

Dvoracek, a 71-year-old Czech national who sells artisan bread with his Venezuelan wife at local food markets, said he now makes around 25% of his sales through the new Bitcoin Jungle wallet. Besides giving him the opportunity to earn bitcoin, he says the biggest benefit of using it has been saving up to 8% of the fees he loses with credit card sales.

“It was amazing,” said Dvoracek, who has lived in Venezuela for 20 years. “Most of us who use bitcoin now leave the credit card machines at home,” he added, referring to his fellow stall vendors.

The evolution of Bitcoin Jungle in this region means that El Salvador is no longer the only place in Central America where you can buy a coffee with bitcoin before hitting the beach. In fact, you can do so much more these days in this corner of Costa Rica.

On a recent Friday in the surf town of Dominical, more than a dozen vendors, including Dvoracek, were accepting bitcoin. A few minutes walk from the main street, the orange bitcoin plastic plate was also on display at Mono Congo (Howler Monkey), a popular cafe for breakfast and lunch. A nearby pharmacy recently started taking bitcoin, as did a host of restaurants and other tourist businesses in the town of Uvita, a 15-minute drive south of Dominical.

In total, about 50 mobile market vendors and 20 brick-and-mortar businesses have signed up for the Bitcoin Jungle project since its launch about six months ago. The wallet app had around 1,500 downloads and 1,000 active users per month.

The project is a prime example of how the original bitcoin beach in El Zonte, El Salvador – which presaged that country’s decision to make bitcoin legal tender last year – is stimulating the organic growth of local bitcoin ecosystems elsewhere in the world. the world. It also provides more evidence that bitcoin can be an efficient and useful payment system – something skeptics have long dismissed due to its slow transaction speeds and relatively high costs.

Like the El Zonte project, Bitcoin Jungle’s wallet operates on the second Lightning Network layer, which makes transactions much faster and cheaper than they would be on the underlying bitcoin blockchain. It is a fork of the original Bitcoin Beach wallet built with the open-source bitcoin development platform Galoy, but added features like a GPS map showing locations where bitcoin is accepted and the ability to pay without near field contact (NFC).

Richard Scotford, a 50-year-old former Hong Kong resident who has been active in that region’s pro-democracy movement, came up with the idea for Bitcoin Jungle as he and his wife forged ahead with plans to start a local college on the bitcoin standard.

“The deeper I got into bitcoin, the more obvious it was to me that this field was ready to do that,” he said. “We just needed to start attracting people to the bitcoin standard by giving them outlets to spend their bitcoin.”

Scotford says Costa Rica’s economy and financial system demanded a different approach for Bitcoin Jungle. Unlike impoverished El Salvador, Costa Rica has long had one of the most stable economies in Latin America, low levels of corruption, and a relatively good standard of living.

“El Salvador is the bank for unbanked people. Costa Ricans have bank accounts and most of the time they don’t question the financial system,” Scotford said.

So, instead of relying on adoption by locals, Bitcoin Jungle is primarily aimed at penetrating the ranks of foreign tourists who flock here for Costa Rica’s unspoilt beaches, verdant rainforests, and pristine waterfalls.

Given the ability to pay seamlessly with bitcoin, tourists might leave their credit and debit cards at home, or at least at the hotel. For their part, hotels, restaurants, and retirement centers get an escape from sky-high credit card fees and the ability to hold bitcoins long-term. The idea is that this will eventually lead to a circular bitcoin economy that will also appeal to Costa Ricans.

Lee Salminen, a software developer who sold his business in the payments industry before moving to Uvita and partnering with Scotford on Bitcoin Jungle, said he was optimistic more locals would join him, d especially since Costa Rica’s own currency has fallen about 10% against the dollar over the past year.

The onboarding process for the locals was facilitated by one-on-one sessions where Salminen and Scotford listen to people’s financial problems and explain how bitcoin can solve them and, most importantly, giving them the opportunity to quickly convert it into dollars.

After the first week of Bitcoin Jungle going live in local markets, every seller took the option to cash out. Now very few do, says Salminen.

“It’s been an incredible progression in the markets,” he said. “Every week they come in and have a higher level of complex questions about bitcoin, the economy or inflation. Everyone has their reason – some have a healthy distrust of government, some have family in distant places and some like to speculate.

The next step in improving the ability to switch between bitcoin and fiat has been the recent arrival of two shiny new bitcoin ATMs.

The Costa Rican government has taken a restricted approach to cryptocurrencies, accepting them as legal to use but warning citizens that buying them can be risky. But a recent drop in tourist arrivals due to COVID-19 – compared to a 30% jump in El Salvador since it adopted bitcoin last September – could be a catalyst for a change in official attitude, said said Salminen.

“The Ministry of Tourism wants to talk with us to understand how bitcoin could be positive for tourism here and use it to push legislation forward,” he said.

Czech provider Dvoracek said he believes more Costa Ricans will turn to bitcoin payments when they realize it will give them the option to disconnect, saving them from queuing for services in banks and ATMs.

Fuad Yantani, a 43-year-old Chilean who sells cold-pressed juice, said Bitcoin Jungle payments accounted for a small but growing share of his sales. He said bitcoin was also useful for making and receiving payments from other providers, but his longer-term goal was to treat it like an investment.

“My idea is to save more than to spend,” he said.

This is a guest post by Stuart Grudgings. The opinions expressed are entirely their own and do not necessarily reflect those of BTC Inc. or Bitcoin Magazine.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

The most sustainable countries in the world Wed, 20 Apr 2022 22:02:09 +0000

Imagine a world where one day a month was a national holiday dedicated to making your neighborhood cleaner. In Rwanda, on the last Saturday of every month, that’s exactly what they do. During Umuganda – the Kinyarwanda word for “coming together for a common purpose” – people in the land of a thousand hills pick up trash, fix roads and generally help each other to make the world sparkle and just a little more beautiful.

While this is just one example of a community caring about having a livable home, other countries make it easier for travelers to participate in the metaphorical collection of some of our collective waste. The best part, however, is that these countries do most of the work – just by picking the right spots, travelers can reap all the benefits of seeing more greenery without much personal effort. Just decide where to put your money, so it goes to places with the right intentions, then relax and explore the forests you just helped to still be there in 50 years.

“We are seeing an increase in the number of conscious travelers,” says Jessica Blotter, CEO and co-founder of Kind Traveler. According to the company’s 2022 Tourism Impact Report, 96% of respondents said it was important that their travel spend had a positive impact on the communities they visited. “In 2022 and beyond, we expect to see more hotels and travel companies focusing more on sustainability efforts,” she continues, but in a way that visitors actually notice, at least. beyond not washing towels as much.

Launched in March 2022, Alight has become the first hotel booking platform that allows travelers to book their hotel while simultaneously calculating and offsetting their carbon emissions, inspiring what they call a sense of “ethical wanderlust.” in all of us.