The low prices that Panamanian businesses offer, not only in clothing, tennis and appliances but also in food and fuel, is causing losses to some merchants in the Costa Rican side of the border.
In Ciudad Neily for example, some supermarkets fell by 30% of its workforce.
The situation deteriorated recently over a year, when the Panamanians opened a large business in the strip of land, on the Panamanian side, called City Mall
It was the first to feature a section on groceries, meats, vegetables and fruits, apart from the traditional line of clothes, shoes, appliances and more. There is also a McDonald’s restaurant, the first in the area.
Before this situation, the traditional Jerusalem Store was remodeled and expanded to give way to the Jerusalem Mall.
This also opened the sale of food and set up a Burger King and a Subway in your building.
The two trade offer very competitive prices on food, including products manufactured in Costa Rica, said Paul Valle, president of the Civic Committee of Paso Canoas.
At City Mall a box of skimmed milk Dos Pinos is $ 1.35 (about ¢ 688 to an exchange rate of ¢ 510), while in the supermarket Loaiza in Ciudad Neily, sold at ¢ 781.
A light tuna in water Sardimar offers consumers at $ 1.25 (¢ 637.50) in Jerusalem Market, while Loaiza is offered at ¢ 1,729, according to prices posted on the gondola.
A cream cheese Dos Pinos costs ¢ 862 in City Mall, ¢ ¢ 790.50 in Jerusalem and 1,179 in Loaiza.
The fuel price is another problem, and Costa Ricans prefer to go shopping across the border. In this sector, there are three stations in Panama, where a gallon of gasoline plus worth $ 3.78 (about ¢ 1,928), while in Costa Rica is the price of ¢ 2,427.
The magnet border trade affects not only Paso Canoas and nearby towns such as Cuervito and Ciudad Neily, but further afield as San Vito (Coto Brus), Rio Claro, Golfito, Palmar and Buenos Aires.
This was said Valle, who agreed with Murillo Minor traders, supermarkets El Sol, in Buenos Aires, Ronald Ruiz, hotel, cabins and hardware Romy, in Paso Canoas, Alfredo Rojas, the super El Rodeo in Cuervito, Minor Loaiza vice President of the Chamber of Commerce of the south, and Milena Lobo, of the Lobo Ferretero the South in Ciudad Neily.
Rowland Espinosa, Deputy Minister of Finance, said the southern border poses a very difficult problem. Therefore, he added, are conducting research and preparing a special program of monitoring and control products.