While current relations between Costa Rica and Spain are currently in good standing, Spanish Secretary of State for International Cooperation and Ibero-America, Jesus Gracia, stated recently that those relations could improve even more, particularly in terms of investment, trade, and cooperation.
Gracia recently arrived in Costa Rica as part of a tour that also included visits to El Salvador and Mexico. During his visit, Gracia was quick to point out Costa Rica’s attractiveness in areas of trade, tourism and investment. Spanish-based companies have already invested money in Costa Rica’s telecommunications, energy, and tourism industries, but as Gracia indicated, there is always room for improvement.
Strong Ties Between Costa Rica and Spain
Since taking office, President Solis of Costa Rica has actively courted foreign investment. The Spanish official has indicated that as Costa Rica continues to grow, there will be even more potential for Spain to make larger investments in the Central American country. Currently, Spain is the second largest investor in Costa Rica, following the United States. The two countries have long-standing ties for decades.
Spain has also recently expressed interest in investing in Costa Rica’s transportation industry. The Minister for Development in Spain, Ana Pastor, paid a visit to Costa Rica late last year on a mission specifically designed to solidify relations with the Solis government even more. During her visit, Pastor also met with the Minister for Public Work and Transport and suggested that Spain would be willing to offer its experience in the transportation industry and would also be interested in helping Costa Rica modernize its airports and passenger trains.
Spain Onboard to Help with New Costa Rican Airport
Specifically, Spain is interested in participating in the plan to construction a new international airport in Orotina. The airport is slated to be operational by 2025. Project plans call for the terminal to have the capability of serving double the number that the Juan Santamaria international airport is currently able to serve. Although a location has been decided upon for the new airport, no other decisions have been made to date.
Spain already provides support via the National Network of Spanish Railways (Renfe) to Costa Rica. During her visit, Pastor indicated that her country has a desire to continue that support, which dates back to 2012 under the previous administration.
The subject of infrastructure and improving travel services is one that is appropriately timed as Costa Rica continues to become a favored travel destination for visitors from around the world. Along with traveling to Costa Rica to take advantage of the unparalleled natural beauty and surfing opportunities, an increasing number of visitors are making their way to Costa Rica to sample its ecotourism industry. At the same time, more and more people are opting to purchase second homes in Costa Rica in order to get away from a more hectic lifestyle in the States. An improved railway system and newer, larger, and more modern airport will make it easier for visitors to enjoy everything that Costa Rica has to offer.