Jun
19
2009

Smooth Sailing in Costa Rica Amid Global Financial Storm

Costa Rica is ranked the 8th most stable country in the world according to a study by The Economist Intelligence Unit.  They identified the most politically and economically stable countries using 17 measures that encompass social structures, economic statistics, political structure and history.  The report was compiled from a comprehensive study of 164 nations with the top 10 being:

1. Norway
2. Denmark
3. Canada
4. Sweden
5. Finland
6. Switzerland
7. Mauritius
8. Costa Rica
9. New Zealand
10. Luxembourg

Other notable rankings include: USA 56th, Nicaragua 77th, Mexico 87th, and Panama is ranked 131st. 
 
One of the fundamental reasons why Costa Rica maintains a strong position during global weakness is its solid real estate values.  Costa Rica’s real estate market remains stable because private and foreign buyers primarily drive it.  Whereas the market in the United States in critically dependent on institutional financing and the job market, both of which have been recently decimated.  With the expected explosion of retiring baby boomers, demand for property in Costa Rica is poised for long-term growth.  Furthermore, other popular retirement locations like Mexico are less attractive now because of increased crime, while high taxes, expensive health care, and general cost of living plague Florida and Arizona. 
 
Costa Rica is a developing country.  By definition, a developing country is in a state of growth.  It now boasts an unemployment rate less than that of the United States and has some of the best social indicators on the planet.  Road conditions are not only improving dramatically, but as new highway initiatives are completed, the country’s key locations will be connected, thus creating more efficient business transportation as well as offering the tourist ease of transit between destinations. 
 
With a history of stability, Costa Rica is more protected than its North American and European counterparts during any crisis, because of its unique political stability, strong social structures, a large middle class, and a strict lending environment.  Credit has always been difficult to obtain and there is a cultural lack of consumerism.  These stable financial indicators combined with an educated work force and investment-friendly tax policies will continue to keep Costa Rica’s economy stable. 
 
Even though the world economy is gloomy, and no country is completely immune from the fallout, Costa Rica presents a positive and exciting alternative for those desperately seeking some calmer waters. 
 
For the full report visit www.scribd.com/doc/13490559/EIU-Special-Report-Manning-the-Barricades

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