Costa Rica News – El Financiero (EF), from the Group Nación designated Guillermo Alonso Guzmán, president of Corporación Auto Mercado as Entrepreneur of the Year 2016. The event took place on Monday afternoon, November 28, at the Hotel Real Intercontinental.
José David Guevara, Director of EF, recalled that the award-winning entrepreneurs of every year have always stressed the importance of maintaining the roots of companies, the ability to compete on a global level, to grow and to transform continuously.
Alonso Guzman is acknowledged for the expansion of the chain Auto Mercado, which has managed over the last few years and that by 2024 will have 18 new outlets, resulting from an investment of $ 72 million.
Alonso said the recognition is also for the team that works at Auto Mercado, a Costa Rican family company with 56 years of experience. “We have dedicated ourselves to innovate and offer a unique experience to our customers. We want to grow more, with sustainable strategies to continue to evolve,” said the entrepreneur.
He also leads the expansion of the Vindi convenience brand, which has already announced the opening of six stores in the remainder of 2016 and 2017 with an investment of $ 1.5 million.
Luis Roberto Rodríguez, general director of the Reventazón hydroelectric project, of the Costa Rican Electricity Institute (ICE) was awarded the official recognition of the year.
Alonso Guzman said there are many obstacles (procedures, regulations, laws) in the country to generate new entrepreneurships and employment from the public sector, and called all entrepreneurs to help improve public management. “This is the only way the country can change,” he said during the presentation of the award.
Humberto López, Director of the World Bank for Central America, said that the global outlook offers good prospects for Central America with increased consumption and investment in durable goods in the United States, boosting regional exports. López participated in commemoration of the twentieth edition of this award ceremony.
According to the director, global concerns focus on the possible rise in oil prices, the impact of Britain’s exit from the European Union (Brexit) and what will be the monetary and trade policy of the Administration of Donald Trump.
In the case of Costa Rica, although it is a sophisticated economy since 2000, the increase in debt and the fiscal situation is of concern, because it could also affect the country’s social model.
López recommended that Costa Rica should focus on improving its educational levels and maintaining the growth dynamics in the coming years, to ensure economic sustainability.
The former president of the Central Bank, Francisco de Paula Gutierrez, stressed that at this time the concern would be on those who question the free trade agreement between the USA, Mexico and Canada because chances are that the outcomes would do the same with the trade agreement with the Caribbean and Central America.
EF also recognized the corporation of producer Leche Dos Pinos for the execution of a strong expansion plan of $ 45 million in total, which included the acquisition of La Completa, Bemix and Gallito plants.
Florida Ice & Farm was awarded the title in innovation for the construction of the first water desalination plant in Reserva Conchal, to supply several developments and hotels in the area.
In this same category the founding partners of Los Paleteros were recognized. During the second half of the year they launched their product with great resonance in the market, taking advantage of social networks. They also opened their store and made the concept franchise.
By Brenda Sotelo