Costa Rica

What does Rwanda, a poor African country that has suffered a horrific war and genocide, have in common with Costa Rica, a Central American country of 4.5m best known for its beaches and high-quality coffee beans?

Answer: Both are the latest to benefit from the wave of cheap money looking for returns, by issuing debt at ridiculously low rates. Read more

Mother Nature has dealt Central America a lousy hand. Earthquakes, floods and hurricanes of biblical proportions have battered the isthmus over the years, but the latest natural disaster is a botanical one.

A plague known as “coffee rust” has hit the region’s top-quality arabica crop. Premium blends from coffee grown in Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama are much loved by aficionados. Read more

Hot money is known in Latin America as “swallow” capital, like the migratory birds that arrive in the springtime, build a nest and raise their chicks, only to fly away elsewhere with all their brood.

But, rather than swallows, the dollars that have flooded into Costa Rica in recent months have been “real weapons of mass destruction” for the Central American nation’s economy, according to the president, Laura Chinchilla. Read more

Readers already know that Brazil is at the helm of the currency war when it comes to Latin America. However, increasingly, Colombia, Peru and even Costa Rica are turning into brothers in arms, determined to ease the appreciation of their own currencies, the peso, the sol and the colón, respectively. Read more

Soccer managers are fond of using a little-and-large striking partnership. One barrel-chested giant of a man to batter through the opposition, the other a nifty little fellow who bamboozles them with his agility.

Now barrel-chested China and nifty Costa Rica (4.6m population) appear to be in the initial stages of just such a partnership. Read more

Amid the gloom of the world economy, Costa Rica sparkles like a little gem. The Central American nation is famous for having no army and working hard to protect its environment.

And now Nomura Securities has polished Costa Rica’s halo with a report that says its economy is “flying”. First-quarter growth was 6.9 per cent year-on-year, while foreign investment rose by 10.4 per cent.  Read more

Costa Rica is the happiest country in the world and also the least corrupt in Latin America, according to two new surveys.

Venezuela is also one of the happiest but ranks as being one of the most corrupt. Surprised? So is beyondbrics. Read more

Indigenous Panamanians protest recent changes to the country's mining lawThere’s gold in them thar Central American hills. Gold and several other valuable minerals. Mining companies, especially Canadian, are courting the region yet most of the governments are playing hard to get, if not being openly hostile.

All of which must be pretty perplexing to at least some of the companies. World prices of metals remain high while Central American economies are some of the world’s most vulnerable. Surely a slam-dunk for the miners? Read more

By Ronald Buchanan in Mexico City

A woman makes a mobile phone call in San Jose, Costa RicaCosta Rica finally on Tuesday announced the terms of a tender that will open the last frontier of the free market in cellular service in Latin America.

The tender will invite bids for three bandwidths to compete with the Costa Rican Electricity Institute, which currently controls the state monopoly on mobile phones. Read more

Japan is taking Latin America by storm. Well, at least when it comes to digital television standards.

According to Japan’s Sankei newspaper, Costa Rica has become the seventh country in the region to adopt the Asian country’s digital TV standards, following larger markets such as Brazil and Peru. Read more