Costa Rica loans – Gran Logia Costa Rica Wed, 05 Jan 2022 07:24:46 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Costa Rica loans – Gran Logia Costa Rica 32 32 The Dominican Republic has fared better than its peers Tue, 04 Jan 2022 16:31:00 +0000

Santo Domingo, DR.
The Dominican Republic is showing a recovery that is appreciated as a success by the international community, highlighting the opinions of the most prestigious risk rating agencies, the most representative institutions of the international bank and various multilateral organizations.

An analysis by Pagina Abierta of the Central Bank States (PACB); “In general, all these entities have favorably weighted the implementation of macroeconomic policies consistent with the objectives of reviving productive activities, recovering jobs and protecting the most vulnerable segments of the population,” he explains. he.

The PACB says that since the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the coronavirus a pandemic in March 2020, the Central Bank of the Dominican Republic (BCRD) has implemented an expansionary monetary policy that included reducing the rate of ” benchmark interest of 4.5% to 3.0% and the implementation of various liquidity mechanisms, aimed at creating the conditions for financial institutions to place and refinance low-cost loans to Dominican businesses and households .

At the same time, the government has designed social programs to protect the most vulnerable groups of the population and ease the tax burden on businesses, especially in the sectors most affected by the pandemic, preserving jobs and protecting people’s income.

In December of this year, two rating agencies, Standard and Poor’s and Fitch released their assessments of the future performance of the Dominican economy, which improved the outlook from negative to stable.

Throughout 2021, only one country received a favorable opinion from the two major rating agencies across Latin America. Yet it was precisely the DR, an unmistakable sign of the nation’s positioning as one of the region’s most critical economic leaders.

Even in the case of economies like Mexico, Panama, Costa Rica and El Salvador, the outlook has been defined by rating agencies as unfavorable.

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Latin America and the Caribbean: forecast for 2022 Thu, 30 Dec 2021 16:04:08 +0000

Photo source: Adalberto Roque / AP via Chicago Tribune

2022 will likely be a turbulent year, but ultimately very difficult for Latin America, the Caribbean and the Biden administration’s engagement in the region. The year will begin with the hope that the region slowly regains the upper hand in its battle against COVID-19, and that the streak continues of center-left party victories, the consolidation of authoritarian populism and the advancement of the La people. Republic of China (PRC) will not have the negative consequences that some fear. By the end of the year, that optimism will likely be strained by a combination of problematic behavior from the radical left and authoritarian populist regimes, further significant electoral advances from the populist left, and growing challenges from organized crime. , political instability, fiscal and economic crises. , and refugee flows. The year is also likely to feature continued diplomatic, economic, political and security penetration of the region by the PRC, as well as a particularly weakened US voice in multilateral affairs and bilateral political and security engagement to address these challenges.

A hopeful start?

In the first months of the year, the newly elected radical left-wing government of Xiomara Castro in Honduras will likely seek to establish positive relations with the Biden administration, building on common development interests, justice social protection, protection of disadvantaged groups and cooperation to prosecute corrupt actors. linked to the outgoing regime of Juan Orlando Hernández. Indeed, Castro could delay his campaign pledge to diplomatically recognize the PRC to avoid deteriorating relations with Washington, while seeking more concessions from his longtime partner Taiwan. In Chile, the inexperienced incoming Boric administration, hampered by a divided Congress, may move slowly and seek consensus, leading some to speculate that conservative fears of Boric becoming a new Salvador Allende were overblown. Likewise, Pedro Castillo’s regime in Peru will continue to be hampered by its own internal difficulties and a conservative, albeit fragmented, Congress.


In Mexico, expanding economic engagement, new security cooperation agreements, and Mexican President Andrés Manuel Lopéz Obrador’s hopes that Congress Democrats will pave the way for citizenship for Mexicans in the United States. , will create the illusion of a reasonably healthy US state. Relationship with Mexico.

In Costa Rica, the centrist National Liberation Party (PLN) could win in the February national elections and be forced to govern moderately with a multiparty congress.

In Colombia, the increasingly visible consequences of the turn to the left in the rest of the region, particularly in neighboring Venezuela, could lead the country to rally to a centrist alternative to the ex-guerrilla M-19 Gustavo Petro at the presidency or to elect a Congress which limits its ability to impose a radical program if elected.

Pro-American voices like Iván Duque in Colombia, Guillermo Lasso in Ecuador, Luis Abinader in the Dominican Republic, Irfaan Ali in Guyana and Luis Lacalle Pou in Uruguay will superficially reassure that despite the victories of a wide range of left-wing groups in the region , the United States still has many friends.

In countries ranging from El Salvador and Nicaragua to Peru, Bolivia and Chile, governments face an environment of uncertainty and budgetary constraints resulting from continued spending against COVID-19 and associated lockdown measures. In this context, Chinese projects will probably move slowly and Chinese loan offers will have few takers. Some Chinese projects, like the Las Bambas mine in Peru, will be compromised by social unrest, leading some to point out the limitations of PRC-based companies and the exaggerated nature of the Chinese threat.

Although all the bad things don’t could happen in Latin America what will happen, the occurrence of some, if not all, of the following events is likely to sour the optimism that some will find in early 2022:

In Venezuela, increased oil production, aided in part by the re-engagement of the China National Oil Development Corporation, will complement Russian arms, Iranian support and an emboldened Nicolás Maduro to increase Venezuela’s risks to its neighbors. Violence involving terrorist groups in Venezuela, such as the FARC and ELN, will increase the prospect of military action spilling over into the territory of Venezuela’s neighbors.

In Chile, the influence of the Communist Party in Boric’s coalition, combined with the frustration of his attempts to accommodate the right and the center, the facilitating effect of Chinese money and Boric’s need to rally his base to approve the new draft constitution likely to be released in the middle of the year, will likely radicalize his government’s policies.

In Brazil, which comprises almost half of the population and the landmass and more than a third of the economy of South America, the Workers’ Party (PT) and its leader Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, radicalized since his incarceration, are more and more likely to be elected in October, changing in a decisive way the balance in the multilateral institutions such as Mercosur, CELAC and the OAS.

In Argentina, the government’s inability to honor large debt payments in 2022, combined with its hard line to renegotiate them, could lead to another default on its IMF loans. A default would strengthen the hand of the radical wing of the Peronist movement of Cristina Fernández de Kircher and accelerate the Argentine government’s accession to China, including not only loans, but also rail, hydroelectric, nuclear, infrastructure projects. solar and other and increased investment in lithium extraction. The need for Chinese money can help Argentina’s formal commitment to buy the Chinese fighter FC-1 (a decision expected in 2022), and other strategic cooperation such as the presence of the PLA in the installation. of space radar in Neuquén and a possible role in the new polar logistics. based in Ushuaia.

In Costa Rica, the inability of the new government to respect the austerity measures, postponed after the elections, could force the new administration and increase its interest in turning to the PRC to finance investment projects.

In Mexico, AMLO’s possible frustration with the likely failure of a realistic path to citizenship for Mexicans in the United States, escalating tensions over its anti-trade initiatives in the electricity sectors, oil and others, its growing dependence on PRC funding for projects from Tren Maya and the Bacanora lithium deposits to PRC-owned Zuma Energy, and increasing pressure from the administration Biden on security cooperation and anti-corruption initiatives will likely force AMLO to take an increasingly anti-American posture.

In Honduras by the end of the year, more radical actors within the Partido Libre, backed by Cuba and Venezuela, could force a possible break with the Biden administration and Castro’s recognition of the PRC to escape dependence on Western investments.

In Nicaragua, the reappearance in November 2021 of the Chinese developer Wang Jing suggests a possible resurrection in 2022 of the Nicaraguan interoceanic canal project. In 2022, the new Nicaragua-China relationship could also lead to purchases of Chinese military equipment, as well as cooperation on security issues and surveillance and information architectures, complementing Russia’s role in make Nicaragua less isolated, less broke and therefore more threatening. .

As for the China-Taiwan competition, 2022 will likely see the Caribbean become a new area of ​​interest, including the possibility of a turnaround by the current government of Saint Lucia (which currently recognizes Taiwan but previously recognized the PRC) , or by the next government in Haiti. As the region moves past the economic cripple of COVID-19, a range of temporarily blocked Chinese projects may begin, and the role of Chinese companies in 5G, biotech, ridesharing and other e-commerce will help make the impression seem as companies based in the PRC companies are advancing everywhere.

Across Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean, the deteriorating security situation and the continued influence of organized crime will highlight the cost of the United States’ lost ability to engage, let alone substantially influence, its partners in the region, even little El Salvador. , on issues of organized crime, immigration or China, or ensure cooperation on these issues within once reliable multilateral institutions such as the OAS.

This visibly weakened US posture will contribute significantly to the Republican Party’s recapture of the House of Representatives in the US midterm elections of November 2022. The result will likely be more conflict, stagnation and attention to growing challenges for US citizens. United States in the Western Hemisphere, although these are unlikely to be meaningful solutions under a divided Congress.

In short, in 2022, the United States will discover that after a few first signs of hope, the hemisphere to which it is intimately linked by geographic, commercial and family ties is more dangerous, less democratic, less stable, less willing to cooperate. , and more engaged than ever with its extra-regional rivals. The predictions are flawed, however. It is possible that some of the glimmers of hope expected at the start of the year will not materialize and the region will dip more quickly into crisis.

Evan ellis is a Latin American research professor at the Institute for Strategic Studies at the US Army War College. The opinions expressed here do not necessarily represent the position of the Army War College or the United States government.

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Spur Tree Targets $ 335 Million In Equity Through IPO | Business Fri, 24 Dec 2021 05:13:04 +0000

S parts maker Spur Tree aims to raise more than $ 335 million in equity at $ 1 per share, when its initial public offering hits the market at the end of the month.

Stock market investors are offered 335,391,848 shares of the company, over the period from December 29 to January 19, 2022.

Almost half of the funds raised by Spur Tree Spices Jamaica Limited will be used to liquidate an existing debt of $ 169.24 million. Of this amount, $ 156.75 million will go to GK Investments and $ 12.49 million will be used to reduce loans owed to directors.

Spur Tree CEO Albert Bailey said the company used the loan from GK to seal the acquisition of exotic goods.

“We bought exotics for a net price of around $ 75 million, but there was a debt component that put the gross price at almost $ 160 million,” Bailey said.

The spice company generated annual sales of more than $ 700 million in 2020, up 22% from 2019. More than 90% of total revenue comes from export sales, Bailey said.

Net income of $ 69.65 million at the end of 2020 was the highest in five years.

Exotic made a pre-tax profit of $ 12.38 million on revenue that exceeded $ 220 million for the nine months ending in September. Based on its annualized results, the newly acquired company is expected to add approximately $ 290-330 million to Spur Tree’s annual revenue for the year ending December 2021.

Spur Tree operates a 20,000 square foot factory at the Garmex industrial complex in Kingston. Another 15,000 square feet of space at Garmex is dedicated to the storage and warehousing of raw materials, Bailey said.

“We wanted to put ourselves in a position to be able to store adequate raw materials as a risk mitigation strategy,” he said, adding that seasonality and potential peaks and valleys in the materials supply chain Company premieres were an important consideration.

The company, through its acquisition of exotic products, also owns an ackee plant in Danvers Pen, St Thomas, which spans about 10,000 square feet, according to Bailey.

Ackee being a strategic product in high demand in export markets, he said, Spur Tree plans to streamline operations at Exotic, to double production over the next two years.

“Ownership of this ackee plant is critical to the growth of our products and our market,” added Bailey, noting that Exotic Products is one of nine ackee producers licensed by the Food and Drug Administration. from the United States to export to the difficult United States market.

Spur Tree produces a line of wet seasonings and sauces, canned fruit juices, ackee and callaloo, as well as seasonings and soups for the food service industry. Its exports are heavily concentrated in Florida and the eastern United States, and Bailey is keen to continue operating in the midwest and southern United States.

“There is a wide range of untapped markets where we regularly receive requests for our products. We are trying to strengthen the distribution channels that we already have and to go into these other areas of our primary market, ”he said.

Spur Tree also exports to the United Kingdom, Canada, the Cayman Islands, Costa Rica, Panama and Australia, as the United States is currently its main foreign market. Its Garmex plant needs to be streamlined to focus more on converting semi-processed raw materials into finished products, so that production meets anticipated demand for Spur Tree products.

Of the 335.39 million shares offered in the IPO, representing 20% ​​of the company, 177.28 million are intended for the general public, while the rest will be distributed among various interests, including 40 million for farmers, $ 10 million for Spur Tree staff, and $ 108.1 million for GK Capital, which is Spur Tree’s financial advisor and principal broker for the offering. Sagicor Investments acts as a co-broker.

Spur Tree plans to list nearly 1.677 billion shares on the junior market of the Jamaica Stock Exchange after the IPO is successfully completed. The top three owners after the IPO are expected to be Harrinarine Jagnarine, 34.32%; Albert Bailey, 16.76%; and Anand James, 7.15 percent.

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Notable Neighbors: Young Couple Say American Dream Still Exists | Local news Mon, 20 Dec 2021 11:00:00 +0000

He decided to work in the United States for a year, but one year became two, two became three, and eventually he decided to stay. It was then, around 2003, that he began to study and work in CNC machining.

Years later, in 2011, Sara and Jorge reconnected when she went on vacation to the United States. After that, the couple dated and she moved to North Carolina with him in 2013, the year of their marriage.

When she moved to the United States, she brought with her her passion for baking. She cooked for family and friends.

“It’s because of my mother. She loved to cook, ”said Sara. “I always saw how much she liked it. It makes people feel good. I feel that cooking gives me joy and I love to inspire joy and see people’s faces when they see the cake and eat it.

The couple took lessons together and worked on Jorge’s dream of his own CNC business. Jorge started asking people at the company what equipment he would need, how much it would cost and if it was a good idea. People told him it was a bad idea that would cost a lot of money.

Jorge and Sara decided to do it anyway.

“We said, we don’t have a lot of money, but we have dreams,” Jorge said.

Jorge and Sara applied for permits, took out loans, debited their credit cards, and gathered enough money to build a store in a garage in their backyard with the latest CNC technology. After working for weeks to find clients, Jorge got a job in November 2019.

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Costa Rica and the Morpho Butterfly Business: Sat, 18 Dec 2021 18:02:14 +0000

Morpho butterflies are a breed of neotropical butterflies of the genus Morpho. This genus comprises an average of twenty-nine accepted species and one hundred and forty-seven accepted subspecies. Morpho butterflies are mainly found in Mexico, Central America, and South America – Costa Rica, Brazil, and Venezuela.

They have metallic, winged colors with glittering green and blue ghosts, especially on the upper segment of the wing. Interestingly, the habitat of morpho butterflies in tropical rain forests; one of the main reasons they are affectionately called Neotropical Butterflies. As much as they are mostly forest dwellers, they go to sunny glades to warm up. They prefer to drink their food rather than eat it. Their paws carry sensors which they deploy to taste; their antenna helps to smell the air.

In recent years, the export of morpho butterflies has grown beyond any apparent expectation. Central America as a whole is among the largest purveyors of morpho butterflies. This growing export has seen one of the home of morpho butterflies, Costa Rica, become one of the largest breeders and exporters of morpho butterflies.

The demand for Morpho butterflies

The demand for morpho butterflies is increasing daily due to their captivating shade of colors which brightens and makes everything attractive. The growth in the export of morpho butterflies to Costa Rica is traceable; Identifying Costa Rica as one of the largest exporters of morpho butterflies is not a blunt identity. Here we would examine the etymology of the export of morpho, mainly to Costa Rica.

The growth of the butterfly trade in Costa Rica began over twenty years ago. By chance, Joris Brinckerhoff, a Peace Corps volunteer, ran into a retired entomologist. This retired entomologist, who also identifies as American, gave the idea to Joris Brinckerhoff. For so long since arriving in Costa Rica, Joris has been constantly looking for a job or a business opportunity that would keep him in Costa Rica.

He wanted a job or an opportunity that would allow him to make a significant contribution to the economy without causing damage to the environment. Joris read EF Schumacher, and he was further inspired knowing that raising butterfly pupae for export is good and palatable; because that would generate export revenues.

The Morpho Butterfly company

This butterfly business did not require highly skilled labor; it did not require any colossal investment. EF Schumacher inspired Joris to defend a logic that emphasizes the potential of small businesses as no harmful implications for the environment.

Joris started raising morpho butterflies by selling a car in the United States, loans from his family, and his Peace Corps allowance. He created the entomological supply of Costa Rica; the institution made history as the first commercial exporter of butterfly pupae to Latin America.

The business did not become a success overnight; it did not flower instantly. On the contrary, it took a long time for Joris to understand the slowness of Costa Rica’s government bureaucracy. Thus, the first exports took place in the mid-1980s. It is unimaginable how much the export of the morpho butterfly grew after its creation.

This enterprise which was the brain of the child of an English volunteer a few years ago has been repeated by others and is now estimated at US $ 2 million per year in income; an amount that could not have been foreseen when it just started.

In an interview with Sergio Siles, director of the ten insect export companies, Costa Rican Entomological Supplies (Secsa), he said of the export of Morpho butterflies from Costa Rica “It’s an activity that has developed a lot in the last decade and is developing with a very particular social model, without large producers and with great respect for nature. It is a sector that symbolizes a large part of what Costa Rica is ”.

The export of morpho butterflies to Costa Rica has gone through exciting phases. Media coverage of the export situation of morpho butterflies to Costa Rica reveals all the hard work and commitment required to ensure the reproduction of these butterflies by butterfly breeders.

In WION’s report that Costa Rica’s morpho butterfly farm is one of the largest in the world, butterfly breeder Donald Arce was interviewed; he said, “We have a butterfly farm just for the layers, we take a host plant there; the host plant is filled with eggs, then the host plant is removed and brought to the laboratory. When the larva begins to hatch, the lurvae are made and they are taken to the field and there they are banked.

Every month, a staggering rate of nearly 3,000 butterflies are bred in Costa Rica. Sometimes these morpho butterflies are released into private gardens for beautification and aesthetic appeal. Anabella Gonzalez, another butterfly exporter, said: “We have exported to Russia, the Netherlands, UK, Germany, Chile and Austria.

The techniques and means of breeding Morpho butterflies in Costa Rica, an exuberant fauna, seek to generate income in local communities and also to protect forest habitats by exporting one “herald of aesthetic appeal” to the other. part of the world.

Final thoughts

According to entomologist Ricardo Murillo, more than 400 families in Costa Rica make a living from rearing and breeding morpho butterflies for export; it is a biodiversity-rich land habitat for more than 15,000 species of butterflies and moths.

Captivatingly, it is exciting to see how Costa Rican butterfly breeders simultaneously conserve nature and earn income for themselves. For every problem, nature, in its sheer abundance, is full of divergent solutions that are helpful, resilient, and brilliant. Beyond export, the Costa Rican farmer morpho butterfly breed has found a way to influence the latest fashion trends.

Fashion designers are now turning to the aesthetic appeal of nature to produce fashion styles. They make fabrics by imitating morpho butterflies. The trade in morpho butterflies in Costa Rica does not appear to be slowing down anytime soon.

The commercial potential is glaring for the world; undoubtedly, his income is expected to jump higher in the near future. Due to the trade of morpho butterflies in Costa Rica, the aestheticism is intensifying for the benefit of the world as the economy of Costa Rica improves.

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Nicaragua receives vaccines after restoring diplomatic relations with China Thu, 16 Dec 2021 15:46:01 +0000

On Sunday December 12, Nicaragua received the first 200,000 doses of the Sinopharm vaccine against COVID-19. This is the first shipment of a million doses promised by China, just three days after the regime of Daniel Ortega and Rosario Murillo severed diplomatic relations with Taiwan in order to reconnect them with Beijing.

The batch of vaccines arrived from China in the company of the Nicaraguan delegation which had gone there to formalize the renewal of diplomatic relations between Beijing and Managua. Laureano Ortega Murillo, son of the Nicaraguan ruling couple, led the delegation in his official role as advisor on investment, trade and international cooperation.

According to official information, the donation was received at Managua Augusto Caesar Sandino Airport by Minister of Health Martha Reyes; Carlos Saenz, secretary general of the ministry; and a delegation headed by the Vice Minister of the Chinese Embassy in Costa Rica.

“On behalf of President Daniel Ortega and Vice-President Rosario Murillo, we, the Nicaraguan people, express our deep gratitude for this gesture of solidarity, cooperation, friendship and brotherhood on the part of the people and government of People’s Republic of China ”, declared Laureano Ortega, quoted in the Sandinista media.

China strengthens its presence in Central America

On Thursday, December 9, the Ortega government announced its new diplomatic policy, “recognizing that there is only one China in the world, whose legitimate government is the People’s Republic.” They added a claim that the island of Taiwan is an “inalienable part of the territory (of mainland China)”. With this declaration, the Nicaraguan government severed diplomatic relations with Taipei.

A few hours after the regime’s break with Taiwan, China announced the renewal of diplomatic relations with Nicaragua. Beijing’s precondition for such relations is that the other country must recognize the territorial principle of “one China”. The government of mainland China asserts its sovereignty over the island until then independent of Taiwan.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry announced the signing of a joint declaration instituting, as of December 10, a “mutual recognition” and the re-establishment of diplomatic relations “at the level of the embassy”.

Following the diplomatic break with Nicaragua, the number of countries recognizing Taiwan as an independent state was reduced to fourteen, including several Latin American countries, including Guatemala, Honduras and Paraguay.

Nicaragua has joined others in the region, notably Panama and El Salvador, which in recent years have also severed ties with Taiwan to ally themselves with Beijing; Costa Rica did so in 2007.

For its part, Taiwan deplored the severance of bilateral relations with Managua, accusing the Ortega government of “demeaning” the long friendship between the two peoples.

Ortega seeks resources to maintain power

Until this change, Taiwan was Nicaragua’s main bilateral donor, funding 27 projects in the areas of food production, orchards and better pig farming, among others. These projects have been valued between 30 and 50 million US dollars, according to data from the Nicaraguan government.

Political analyst Evan Ellis is a professor and researcher at the War College of the US Department of Defense and an expert on Sino-Latin American relations. In an interview with Confidential, he said Nicaragua’s break with Taiwan and their decision to align with China was “long overdue.” In the short term, Ellis said, “this will likely breathe new life into Ortega’s continuity in power and help him with additional resources and the ability to distribute money that they can siphon off new loans and contracts.” with Chinese companies ”.

Ellis continued: Although Taiwan “has been a good friend” of the Nicaraguan regime, the Ortega-Murillo duo could eventually “come to an agreement with the Chinese to get more money than they were able to extort from the Taiwanese in the over the past several years. ”This political game has also been influenced by the sanctions imposed by the United States and Europe, and the possibility of their suspension from DR-CAFTA, the free trade agreement between America Central and the Dominican Republic.

“I believe that Ortega’s first imperative is to maintain power, especially in anticipation of more American and European sanctions, the possibility of being excluded from CAFTA, and also of losing the investments of the West that they had. attracted as part of their integration with the US market. Like Venezuela’s position with China and Russia, having the People’s Republic of China as a partner also helps block actions by the UN and other organizations against Nicaragua for their lack of democracy, ”said Ellis.

This article was originally published in Spanish in Confidencial and translated by Havana Times

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All good in 2021 Tue, 14 Dec 2021 12:05:00 +0000

NEEDHAM, Mass., December 14, 2021 / PRNewswire / – Travel in 2021 may have had its beginnings and stops, but one thing was certain this year: Travelers’ appetites to get out and explore have shown no signs of waning. While travel as we know it may have been different this year, people have always had their fill in one way or another. As we close the year today Tripadvisor, the world’s largest travel advice platform, looks back over the past 12 months on some of the ways we’ve re-engaged the world as connected, supported and guided travelers to each other to discover all the good in 2021 .

The pandemic continued to have a profound impact on travel and tourism. However, despite closures and travel restrictions from afar, travelers remained optimistic and positive about the resumption of travel.

In fact, over 44 million new travelers joined the Tripadvisor community in 2021, and 2.5 million travelers posted a review for the first time in a year.

Orientation and people-centered travel remain at the heart of Tripadvisor’s focus. Without advice, recommendations and suggestions from people who have been there before, Tripadvisor wouldn’t be the invaluable resource it has become for the millions of people who visit the platform each month. Travelers love @ alessandrofL127YD deserve special mention – its 358 reviews in 2021 alone garnered 26,259 upvotes from other travelers who found them helpful.

Critics aside, here are a few other inspiring 2021 ideas worth celebrating:

  • Travelers have taken a lot of trips this year
    • More than 7 million new Trips (travel itineraries) have been created on our platform – If you made one trip a day, it would take you more than 13,830 years to do everything.
    • The planning was endless, both the little getaways and the big occasions. Just ask travelers who have named their trips “Momma needs a getaway so no momma go out” and “Where is Alexis going to propose?
  • Travelers took the time to appreciate each other and the interactions they managed to have, either virtually or in person
    • “Thank you” has been mentioned over 41 million times in reviews and forums this year.
  • Despite the impact of COVID-19 and its effect on travel, travelers have managed to find bright spots everywhere
    • “The highlight of the day !!!!” Tripadvisor’s forum has over 5,000 posts (and more) that have seen updates from travelers large and small.
  • As travel recovers, new companies have popped up everywhere this year to once again welcome customers through their doors.
    • 309,270 new accommodations, 109,110 new experiences and 175,286 new restaurants listed their businesses on Tripadvisor in 2021
  • Travelers expected the sun this year. Here are some of the favorite sunny destinations for travelers this year.
    • Honolulu Hawaii – seen 3.2 times more experience bookings than before the pandemic
      “All in Hawaii seems to come with a story, and that’s what makes it special. ”- longboard
    • Cancun, Mexico – saw a 17% increase in searches compared to 2020
      ” I dream Cancun during rush hour when coming home from work. “- Adaza
    • Punta Cana, Dominican Republic – saw a 96% increase in searches compared to 2020
      “I can’t think of another place that is so tropical and beautiful, but so affordable at the same time.” – SunLvr101
    • Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt – more than doubled (106%) its searches compared to 2020
      “The water was so blue and clear and filled with beautiful coral reefs … We will definitely be back!” – Lisa B
    • Hurghada, Egypt
      “Hurghada is less complicated than anywhere else in Egypt, and a great place for activities and relaxation. “- khaled elio
  • In addition to sunny destinations, travelers were * obsessed * with outdoor experiences. Based on bookings made this year, here are some of the most popular destinations for outdoor experiences in 2021.
  • Looking ahead to 2022, travelers are more than ready to step out of their work-from-home setups and return to exploring the world.
    • There are more than 66,000 trips with “2022” in the title already recorded

“2021 has been full of ups and downs in travel, but despite this it was encouraging to see how travelers presented themselves to each other, continuing to support, appreciate and share how they traveled to where they belong. could ”, said Steve kaufer, President and CEO of Tripadvisor. “While much remains unknown over the coming year, we remain hopeful and confident that travel will continue to recover and travelers can get back to finding the good there. As a business, Tripadvisor and the Tripadvisor Foundation will do the trick. its part of helping those in need through this time of change. “

As well as planning their return trip, it was inspiring to see how our travel community came together to support pressing social issues and celebrate their diversity.

  • Tripadvisor joined the Billion Mile Challenge directed by Welcome.US and Miles4Migrants to secure 70,000 flights for Afghan evacuees ready to relocate but needing a flight to their new home. With the support of our travel community, Tripadvisor has contributed more than 49 million miles and 3,200 flights, including a match and a contribution from the Tripadvisor Foundation, to this one-of-a-kind effort. They are 80% of their billion kilometer goal, but still need support to help them cross the finish line. You can donate your miles, points or dollars to participate in the challenge here.
  • Our support for the tens of thousands of evacuated Afghans also included a $ 1 million contribution of the Tripadvisor Foundation to World Central Kitchens operations in major arrival destinations (including Dulles, Virginia, UNITED STATES; Madrid and Rota, Spain; and Doha, qatar). Their efforts have served more than 170,000 hot halal meals from 14 local restaurants to fleeing individuals and families. Afghanistan – many of whom had not eaten meals for days.
  • We emphasized the importance of diverse representation by creating content with advertising partners to celebrate Global pride and annual commemorations of Black History and Hispanic heritage. We also finished historical research to better understand the needs of travelers within the Hispanic community.
  • Our travelers join us and Kiva making a difference with life changing loans this holiday season. For each loan to an entrepreneur, the Tripadvisor Foundation offers another 25 $ lend again – until $ 150,000 raised. You can Click here make a loan that changes lives.

About Tripadvisor
Tripadvisor, the world’s largest travel advice platform *, helps hundreds of millions of people every month ** become better travelers – from planning to booking to travel. Travelers around the world use the Tripadvisor site and app to find out where to stay, what to do and where to eat based on advice from those who have been there before. With over 988 million reviews and opinions from nearly 8 million businesses, travelers turn to Tripadvisor to find accommodation deals, book experiences, book tables at delicious restaurants and discover great places in proximity. As a travel advisory company available in 43 markets and 22 languages, Tripadvisor makes planning easy for any type of trip.

Affiliates of Tripadvisor, Inc. (NASDAQ: TRIP), own and operate a portfolio of travel media brands and companies, operating under various websites and applications, including the following websites:,,,,,,,,,,, and

* Source: SimilarWeb, unique users deduplicated monthly, September 2021
** Source: Tripadvisor internal log files


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EXPLANATION: Why did China hijack Nicaragua from Taiwan? Fri, 10 Dec 2021 09:11:15 +0000

Most are small, largely poor nations in the Western Pacific, the Caribbean and Latin America, the only exception being the Vatican. At the same time, Taiwan maintains strong unofficial ties with the United States and dozens of other countries.

Yet the loss of official allies further restricts the ability of Taiwanese leaders to carry out state visits abroad and fuels Beijing’s narrative that Taiwan is losing the diplomatic battle and will ultimately be forced to accept. the inevitable result of political union with the People’s Republic of China.

“We believe that sooner or later these countries will establish or restore normal diplomatic relations with China. It is only a matter of time, and moreover, an unstoppable trend of the time, ”Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said on Friday.





In its announcement, Nicaragua gave no reason for the latest change, but it follows a trend among its Central American neighbors such as Panama and Costa Rica who have moved to Beijing in recent years, raising concerns about Taiwan and Washington of a potential domino effect. Along with development aid, loans and other incentives, critics say Beijing is using more underhanded methods such as threats and bribes to win over Taiwan’s allies, though no evidence of that did not emerge.

The biggest incentive may simply be China’s massive and growing international economic and political clout. As Taiwan looms above its weight in trade, especially in major high-tech industries, it is increasingly diplomatically isolated and has no say in most international forums. Its respect for democratic values ​​may have only limited appeal among fragile democracies with struggling economies. China, on the other hand, is increasingly influential, which makes it well placed to serve on behalf of its friends.



Competition for the allies dates from the founding of the People’s Republic in 1949. That same year, Chiang Kai-shek, defeated in the Chinese Civil War, transferred his nationalist regime, known as the Republic of China, to Taiwan. North Korea, the Soviet Union and countries in its sphere quickly recognized Beijing, while the United States and its allies supported Taiwan. But as support for China continued, Taiwan gradually lost the support of large states such as France and the UK. The hardest blow came in 1979, when the United States moved its embassy to Beijing and ended a defense treaty with Taiwan.

During the rivalry, some countries switched sides several times, depending on who made the best offer. But as China gained influence and Taiwan became a democracy accountable to parliament and the public, Beijing gained the upper hand. Taiwan’s election of Ma Ying-jeou, a friend of China, as president in 2008 resulted in a “diplomatic truce,” in which China refrained from poaching Taiwan’s allies in return for Ma’s recognition of the “one-China principle” declaring the island and the mainland. China was part of one Chinese nation. It ended with the election of Tsai Ing-wen, a popular independence supporter in 2016. Tsai refused to approve the principle and the game resumed.



China has also made efforts to exclude Taiwan from most international bodies. It started with Taiwan’s expulsion from the United Nations in 1971 and has intensified in recent years as Beijing seeks to undermine Tsai’s government. Amid the pandemic, Taiwan was stripped of its observer status at the World Health Assembly, and Beijing used its influence and veiled threats to exclude the island from even obscure groupings such as Birdlife International, a corporation. UK based ornithological non-governmental organization.

China demands that Taiwan recognize the one-China principle before it can participate. Despite this, Taiwan has remained a member of economic bodies that do not require statehood, including the World Trade Organization and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Forum. Taiwan has also asked to join the Tokyo-led Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement. China, which filed its own request a week before Taipei, says it will have to join first. Taiwan has also sought to improve informal diplomatic relations, most recently with Lithuania. Beijing has responded by imposing a trade embargo on the Baltic state and threatening multinationals that do business with it.



Despite the lack of formal ties, Washington remains Taiwan’s most important ally and recently opened a new representative office in Taipei that has all the attributes of an embassy. He continued to sell arms to Taiwan and provide training under the provisions of the Taiwan Relations Act that require the United States to ensure that the island can maintain a credible defense and consider threats against the island as subjects of “serious concern”.

The United States has also sought to convince Taiwan’s remaining allies of the wisdom to maintain formal diplomatic ties, meeting with Pacific island nations on the matter after the Solomon Islands and Kiribati changed relations with Beijing in 2019. The State Department spokesman Ned Price said Ortega’s decision “deprives the Nicaraguan people are a steadfast partner in their democratic and economic growth,” and that the United States encourages “all countries that value democratic institutions, transparency, rule of law and the promotion of economic prosperity for their citizens to expand their engagement with Taiwan ”.

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Why Costa Rica is cheaper than many countries in the world Fri, 10 Dec 2021 03:02:27 +0000

Countries like Japan, the United Kingdom or the Cayman Islands are more expensive than Costa Rica (although in the bottles of water and red wine we are even more expensive). Here we explain why our country is so cheap.

Costa Rica is a cheap country. We who inhabit it know it, we hear it from the tourists who visit us, but above all we realize it when we travel abroad and compare the prices of goods and services. It is not uncommon for us to be speechless the first time.

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Did you read “cheap”? No, the word is “expensive”. Costa Rica is an expensive country. Re-dear.

Below we show a price comparison table for different products in Costa Rica and seven other countries. We extracted data from the World Prices website, which is used to compare the cost of living between countries. Thanks to places like this, you realize that living in Costa Rica is cheaper than living in Japan, for example, which is already something, right?

In another tool, Expatistan, which calculates the cost of living between countries for people planning to relocate, here are the relationships between Costa Rica and the countries we compare in the previous table:

Costa Rica vs. Spain:

– Living in Spain is 11% more expensive than living in Costa Rica.

-In Spain, food, clothing and personal care are cheaper.

–But rent / accommodation, transport and recreation are more expensive.

Costa Rica vs. United States:

– Living in the United States is 51% more expensive than living in Costa Rica.

– In the United States, clothes are cheaper.

–But food, rent / shelter, transportation, personal care and entertainment are more expensive.

Costa Rica vs. Japan:

– Living in Japan is 48% more expensive than living in Costa Rica.

-Clothes are cheaper in Japan.

–But food, rent / shelter, transportation, personal care and entertainment are more expensive.

Costa Rica vs. Mexico:

– Living in Mexico is 26% cheaper than living in Costa Rica.

-In Mexico, everything is cheaper than in Costa Rica: food, rent / housing, clothing, transportation, personal care and entertainment.

– Entertainment is 48% cheaper in Mexico.

Costa Rica vs. Colombia:

– Living in Colombia is 31% cheaper than living in Costa Rica.

-In Colombia, everything is cheaper than in Costa Rica: food, rent / accommodation, clothing, transportation, personal care and entertainment.

– Food is 43% cheaper in Colombia.

Costa Rica vs. Chile:

– Living in Chile is 12% cheaper than living in Costa Rica.

-In Chile everything is cheaper than in Costa Rica (food, rent / accommodation, clothing, personal care, entertainment), except transport (2% more expensive in Costa Rica).

–Personal care is 34% cheaper in Chile.

Costa Rica vs. Argentina:

– Living in Argentina is 46% cheaper than living in Costa Rica.

-In Argentina, everything is cheaper than in Costa Rica: food, rent / accommodation, clothing, transportation, personal care and entertainment.

–Personal care is 62% cheaper in Argentina.

Additional Notes:

The UK is 54% more expensive than Costa Rica, although it is cheaper for clothing and personal care.

The Cayman Islands are 138% more expensive than Costa Rica. And for rent / accommodation they are 224% more expensive; This idyllic Caribbean archipelago is not a country strictly speaking, but a British Overseas Territory dependent on London. It is located in the northwest of Jamaica and is distinguished above all by two things: its luxury hotels on beaches with clear waters, and for being a tax haven.

(We’re talking about the Cayman Islands because they almost always top the lists of the most expensive places in the world. So you see, Costa Rica isn’t the most expensive. Stop the drama)

Big Mac Index in Latin America

The Economist Big Mac Index, which compares the price of the Big Mac hamburger around the world, as well as the labor time required to purchase the food, states:

1. Uruguay ($ 4.66)

2. Brazil ($ 4.6)

3. Costa Rica ($ 3.94)

4. Chili ($ 3.83)

5. Colombia ($ 3.69)

6. Honduras ($ 3.51)

7. Nicaragua ($ 3.32)

8. Guatemala ($ 3.26)

9. Peru ($ 3.19)

10. Argentina ($ 2.87)

Purchasing power parity

An essential tool for knowing how much a country costs is purchasing power parity (PPP). It measures the prices of different countries using commons (like the basic food basket) to contrast the real purchasing power between different currencies and / or countries. The calculation that is performed results in a score in the Geary-Khamis dollar unit, also known as the international dollar. The higher a country is in the ranking, the greater the real purchasing power of its inhabitants:

1. United States with a score of 62,606 (10th place worldwide)

2. Japan with a score of 44,227 (28th place in the world)

3. Spain with a score of 40,139 (30th place in the world)

4. Chile with a score of 25,978 (56 world place)

5. Mexico with a score of 20.602 (63rd place in the world)

6. Argentina with a score of 20,537 (64th place in the world)

7. Costa Rica with a score of 17,559 (77th place in the world)

8. Colombia with a score of 14,943 (85th place in the world)

Among the countries whose citizens have more purchasing power than Costa Ricans include:

Iran, Iraq, Bulgaria, Romania, Equatorial Guinea, Lithuania, Cyprus, Trinidad and Tobago, Malaysia, Greece, among others.

And among the countries whose citizens have less purchasing power than the Ticos, are:

Palau, Sri Lanka, Mongolia, Kosovo, Namibia, Swaziland, Nicaragua, Pakistan, South Sudan, Burundi, among others.

Why is Costa Rica expensive?

There are several reasons, but one that some experts point out as very important is that in Costa Rica there is no competition between companies, which makes the products more expensive.

On July 15, 2020, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) released its Economic Survey of Costa Rica, where it showed that weak competition in various markets tends to result in high prices for goods. for consumers.

“A relatively small number of large companies dominate the economy, indicating the need for better regulations to promote a more competitive business environment. Calculations made for this study indicate that profit margins are higher in Costa Rica than in most OECD countries, ”the study notes.

In addition, already in April 2018, Ángel Gurría, president of the OECD, assured that Costa Rica is expensive precisely because of the “lack of competition”. The OECD hierarch explained that our country offers advantages for foreign companies to establish themselves in the country, but does not offer the same advantages for domestic companies.

These have to go through a greater number of tedious and expensive procedures, which strongly discourages startups, and gives large international companies the advantage of setting the prices they want. And also to large local companies which enjoy a monopoly (for example, it is cheaper to buy Dos Pinos milk in Nicaragua and Guatemala than in Costa Rica, where it is produced).

Gurría criticized the barriers for Costa Rican entrepreneurs and startups, pointing out that it is easier to start a business in Mexico, Chile or Colombia than in Costa Rica. In addition, high production costs (wages, energy and others) influence final prices. things, in general, are high.

For this publication, the economist José Luis Arce adds that in Costa Rica we have “very oligopolized markets, that is to say with very few suppliers”. “In addition, in general these markets have very weak competition laws and policies, starting with the fact that some markets have monopolies created by laws (rice, sugar, etc.)”.

Jorge Vargas Cullel, the director of the State of the Nation program, regretted in 2015 that Costa Rica had “prices from countries like Switzerland or Norway”, he weighed that these are countries that “can be expensive, because they do not have significant lags. in terms of development ”.

So it’s an old problem

For Jaime García, researcher and director of IPS projects at the Latin American Center for Competitiveness and Sustainable Development (CLACDS), these are key concepts that make Costa Rica dear:

– Competition in the banking sector is deficient and this increases intermediation costs (expensive loans, little financial innovation, little support for risk takers or productive projects).

– Barriers to entrepreneurship are high in terms of time, bureaucracy and lack of funding, which limits the creation of new businesses. “According to the World Bank’s Doing Business indicators,” García explains, “Costa Rica’s distance to the border is 81.7 out of 100 possible. This is less than in all OECD countries. ”.

– Wide exemptions from antitrust or competition laws in sectors such as electricity, transport, fuel distribution, alcohol distillation, sugar, rice, professional services and maritime transport. The OECD mentions up to 25 sectors where the rules of the game benefit monopoly practices and affect competition in Costa Rica.

– The transport infrastructure is deficient and this drives up prices due to transport costs.

Jaime García explains that a perfect example that illustrates these key points is the avocado “war” between Costa Rica and Mexico (Costa Rica blocked Mexican avocado in 2015 and favors Costa Rican avocado. per kilo increased by 75% between 2015 and 2018):

“The ban on Mexican avocado, which stems from a phytosanitary measure of dubious origin, affecting the Costa Rican consumer and putting Costa Rica in a controversy with Mexico before the World Trade Organization, and with a high probability to lose, because faced with the evidence of In this case, it would look more like a measure taken to protect Costa Rican producers ”.

“We are a country intentionally designed not to compete,” García analyzes. Economist José Luis Arce admits it’s unclear which reason most affects why Costa Rica is so expensive, but in the top three he places production costs, lack of competition as well as the exchange rate. against the dollar.

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The exchange rate increases again – Q COSTA RICA Wed, 08 Dec 2021 12:47:31 +0000

QCOSTARICA – The dollar exchange rate rose again after falling on November 25th. The average value of the currency on the Monex market rose by 10.91 yen in 13 days, reaching 640.82 yen on Tuesday, December 7.

The arrival of foreign visitors is one of the main sources of dollars, however, it has yet to regain the levels it had before the pandemic. In the photo, the arrival in Limón of the first cruise of the 2021-2022 season. (Courtesy of the Municipality of Limón)

At the financial entity level, the currency traded between 642 and 647 for sale, ignoring the brokerage houses. The Banco de Costa Rica (BCR), for example, kept the sell rate at 646, at noon on Tuesday; the private bank BAC kept it at 645.

The increase comes at a time when foreign exchange is generally plentiful; However, Daniel Ortiz, director of the consulting firm Cefsa, cited several factors that could explain the increase: one could be linked to the payment of a bond of around 350 million dollars that the government will pay next Friday, which implies greater demand for the currency.

According to Ortiz, statistics released by the Central Bank show that the government has the resources to pay this debt, but in colones, and the instrument is denominated in dollars. As of December 2, the government had US $ 40 million in its central bank dollar accounts and yen 305.76 billion in its colony accounts.

“So far we have not bought any foreign currency, so this is not the reason for the increase in the dollar price, even during this week we will be disbursing loans and also for tomorrow (December 8 ) we have a dollar auction, it will be from there, we will know with certainty the amount of dollars that we will buy through the Central Bank ”, said the Minister of Finance, Elian Villegas,

The government buys the foreign currency it needs from the Central Bank, which sells it from its reserves, and then the foreign exchange authority buys it from Monex, depending on market conditions.

Other reasons that pushed the dollar rate up are expectations of a change in the market exchange rate, the higher oil bill, the needs of the non-banking public system and the still gradual recovery in tourism.

In November, according to information published by the Central Bank, the expectation of a 12-month exchange rate variation in market negotiations was 5.24%; close to the percentage recorded since last August.

According to information provided by the Central Bank, Costa Rica paid in October 137.6 million US dollars for the import of fuels, 87.5% more than what it paid in October 2020.

In the private market, the foreign exchange surplus was maintained last week. Between November 30 and December 3, financial entities bought $ 527.4 million from the public and sold $ 491 million, which generated a surplus of nearly $ 36 million.

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