Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Cars Could Become More Affordable in Costa Rica

Last week, I wrote how Costa Rican politicians were dipping into taxpayers’ pockets for a fat pay raise while at the same time their new president was in Europe trying to drum up some business. According to The Wall Street Journal, here’s a snippet of something President Chinchilla accomplished: The European Union and Costa Rica will remove non-tariff barriers for all industrial goods, and EU cars will receive tariff-free access for 10 years. The “car part” is a biggie for anyone considering retiring to Costa Rica ... Currently, tariffs can easily add over 50% to the cost of buying a new car in Costa Rica. That could tack an extra $10,000 on a $20,000 car! So the new deal could surely eliminate one of the concerns gringos who are on-the-fence about retiring to Costa Rica might have. Is that good for the country? More retiring gringos mean more dollars into the economy. On the other hand, more cars mean more congestion, more fuel consumption and more pollution. But that’s a hornet’s nest I’m not about to step into today. Best wishes, George

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