A Platform Was Created to Interconnect Truck Drivers and Customers in Central America

César A. Parral

On April 28, 2017, the Foundation of the University of Costa Rica (Fundación UCR) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) presented the Central American electronic platform for transport and interconnection between carriers and customers, called "CARAVANA"

Por medio de CARAVANA, empresarios y productores tienen acceso a una amplia red de contactos de transportistas que les brinda la posibilidad de seleccionar las mejores opciones de transporte para realizar envíos de mercancías de forma segura y a tiempo. 

Fuente:
El Nuevo Diario

The School of Public Administration at the University of Costa Rica (EAP) also participated actively in this project through the Customs Administration and Foreign Trade Degree, under the coordination of Professor M.Sc. Susana Wong-Chan.

The presentation activity, held at the Wyndham San José Herradura hotel, was attended by representatives of the Costa Rica Vice Ministry of Foreign Trade and the Secretariat for Central American Economic Integration (SIECA).

CARAVANA, designed by the UCR Foundation with the technical and financial support from USAID of more than $ 277 thousand dollars through the Regional Project for Trade and Market Alliances, is a valuable tool that will favor the increase of intraregional trade through liaisons among producers, carriers, importers, and exporters in Central America.

Through CARAVANA, businessmen and producers have access to a wide network of contacts that offers them the possibility of selecting the best transport options to carry out shipments of goods in a safe and timely manner throughout the Central American territory.

In this regard, Dr. Henning Jensen Pennington, Rector of the University of Costa Rica, referred to the importance of this type of innovative initiatives for the reduction of logistics costs and trade facilitation.

The presentation and delivery event of CARAVANA to SIECA was chaired by Jhon Fonseca- Ordoñez, Costa RicaVice Minister for Foreign Trade, who indicated that CARAVANA will contribute to the competitiveness of SMEs and carriers, thus favoring intraregional trade.

As part of the event, Carmen Gisela-Vergara, General Secretary for SIECA, received the administration of the CARAVANA platform from USAID. She expressed the interest of SIECA in giving continuity and sustainability to such an important initiative that contributes to the economic growth of the region.

For his part, Gregory Howell, director of the USAID Office for Economic Growth, highlighted the contribution that CARAVANA provides to entrepreneurs with the monitoring of logistics indicators, such as the total time of border crossing for export and import proceedures, customs  time, migratory and quarantine processes, among other indicators that facilitate the estimation of logistics costs.

Howell also stressed that the platform is useful in making decisions and implementing improvements at border points for government institutions related to the passage of goods through land customs.

The event was attended by the Central AmericanVice Ministers for Economy, officials from government institutions, representatives of private companies, and international organizations linked to trade facilitation and regional economic growth.

Through its Regional Project for Trade and Market Alliances, USAID supports the Central American countries to achieve inclusive economic growth, improving intraregional trade and exports.

The goal of the project is to establish consolidated regional value chains and improve market access for agricultural products through strong partnerships with buyers and greater trade facilitation, harmonization of standards, and institutional capacity.

For more information, contact M.Sc. Susana Wong-Chan, coordinator of the Degree in Customs Administration and Foreign Trade, phone (506) 2511-6478, or through the email: susana.wong@ucr.ac.cr

Updated Wednesday May 3, 2017 at 10:30 a.m. 

The activity, held at the Wyndham San José Herradura Hotel, was attended by representatives of the Costa Rican Vice Ministry of Foreign Trade and the Secretariat for Central American Economic Integration (SIECA).

Fuente: SIECA

About SIECA

The Secretariat for Central American Economic Integration - SIECA - is the body in charge of promoting efforts to gradually achieve the economic union of Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and Panama. With this, SIECA fulfills its objective of expanding the region’s development options and establishing closer links with international economy.

SIECA is headquartered in Guatemala City and it is the technical secretariat for the Council of Economic Integration Ministers (COMIECO) and the Sectoral Council of Transport Ministers (COMITRAN).