“The human capital of Costa Rica…

A few days ago, we learned that a ranking by ADEN Business School places Costa Rica first among Latin American countries in the human capital index. ADEN Business School also highlights Costa Rica’s economy as the second most competitive in Latin America, surpassed only by that of Chile.

It is worth mentioning that the organization index takes into account aspects such as the quality of formal education, health indicators, the environment and access to technology.

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Out of 10 points, Costa Rica scored 8.48

Due to the subject of the index, The Costa Rica News interviewed the economist Gerardo Corrales Brenes, to find out if his point of view coincides with the ranking, in addition to knowing part of its trajectory and the competitiveness of the economy Costa Rican today.

With over 25 years of banking experience

Gerardo Corrales Brenes, Costa Rican by birth, has been a banker in Central America for more than 25 years, holding management positions, the most recent being that of Executive Vice President of the BAC Credimatic Financial Group for Costa Rica, a position he has occupied for 16 years.

He is an economist graduated from the University of Costa Rica, holds a master’s degree in banking and finance with distinction from INCAE, part of his career has been to promote the development of private banking and the competitiveness of the banking sector in Central America, especially Costa Rica, furthermore, was part of a revolution in the digitalization of banking financial services from 1998 to 2016.

For Corrales, “Costa Rica is a privileged economy in the sense that it has a series of competitive advantages in terms of diversity, biology, proximity, its central position and its close relationship with the United States, which are the main trading partner”.

According to him, the country changed its growth strategy due to a severe crisis in the 1980s and from an agro-export approach and an openly paid import substitution model to a commercial model, competitive and open to the rest of the world, promoting non-exporters. the traditional export apparatus, sustainable tourism and free zone regimes, essentially tax incentives to attract foreign direct investment.

“The pandemic crisis, the container crisis and now the war crisis have impacted the country like the rest of the world, the year 2020 was of economic growth of 4%, unemployment jumped at the worst time by 24%, to date the economy has recovered, the growth rate is acceptable, the country is growing by 3.4% this year, but yes, the phenomenon of international inflation has affected interest rates, the exchange rate and possibly if the world enters a recession, Costa Rica being an economy open to Europe, Central America, the United States, because we would have a recessive effect,” said the famous Costa Rican economist.

The new government

Gerardo Corrales said that Costa Rica has a new government, there is a lot of expectation and enthusiasm from the people to be a new party and to have a president who comes from the World Bank and who comes with a vision of change, “let’s see if it can accomplish”.

“With his proposals to fight corruption, the cost of living and the reactivation of the economic apparatus, which is perhaps the greatest challenge, we have an advantage, an opportunity, concerning the relocation of American companies from Asia to places closer to the United States, where Costa Rica, along with Uruguay, has a competitive advantage”.

About the Most Wanted Resources in Costa Rica

It is no secret that one of the great distinctive elements of Costa Rica is its democratic system, for many years it has no army and also free primary, secondary and university education, which has makes the quality of the capital human resource in the country, for access, for its attributes, for its skills and abilities, one of the most coveted resources.

“And three types of clusters have developed in the country: the industrial cluster of free zones, where the manufacture of high-precision medical supplies such as catheters, heart valves, prostheses stands out; a second element which concerns a shared services center, where American or global companies are located in Costa Rica, the back office centers, concerning administrative, accounting, financial, human resources services for the rest of the world and finally , we have the call center cluster, the services start at the customer who operate from the country, this has generated a high demand for bilingual resources in English, Spanish and even companies like Amazon and Microsoft are also looking for Costa Rican human resources trilingual with Portuguese, due to the high demand for services that Brazil needs”.

Does it coincide with the human capital index?

We asked the economist and specialist in the banking sector, Gerardo Corrales, if it coincides with the classification carried out by ADEN Business School, which places Costa Rica in first place in Latin America in the index of human capital, he replied that it coincided , because “it is an element that has brought a lot of foreign direct investment to the country, entering per year almost 4 billion dollars of fixed and permanent investments and what they are looking for is that is this human capital which is more productive and which practically has a cost advantage with these developed countries”.

A trajectory, anecdotes to tell….

Gerardo Corrales, has a respectable career and as a human being he of course has stories to tell, one of which he shared with our team of journalists, and that was that in 2004 the bank that Corrales ran Costa Rica’s BAC, “had a run on deposits based on an unfounded rumor – that the Superintendence of Banks was not going to intervene.

And although it was a false and ill-intentioned rumour, the public bought it, believed it and a massive outflow of deposits was generated which prompted the bank to practice crisis management with the media, authorities, clients, as well as logistics management to provide consistent and healthy liquidity to depositors who have lost trust and credibility in the entity. But compared to other banks in the world, it is one of the few banks that can claim to have been saved from a massive deposit rush thanks to conservative risk policies for aligned human capital and a competitive strategy. consistent that finally got people to accept that it was a rumor without any basis”.

Through his words, this Costa Rican economist gives us evidence of what the country contains as human capital, which is considered by other countries to be one of the best and which, of course, are advantages for the competitiveness of l Costa Rican economy, although much remains to be done, to contribute, to manage in order to obtain optimal results. Of course, education, training is essential for all purposes and to move any nation forward, we thank Gerardo Corrales for his knowledge.

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