Costa Rica has become a benchmark and leader in e-government throughout Latin America, with the implementation of VUI. A strategic and digital transformation project that seeks to strengthen the Costa Rican economy, boost competitiveness, attract foreign capital, generate employment, and, fundamentally, guarantee transparency in the procedures involving citizens and public administrations.
The strategic collaboration between the Foreign Trade Promotion Agency of Costa Rica (PROCOMER) and the Ministry of Economy, Industry and Commerce (MEIC) has resulted in the creation of this innovative digital platform. AuraQuantic is the technology used for its development and implementation, contributing to the simplification of all mandatory procedures for people interested in setting up a business in the country and developing their commercial activity. These procedures include the Sanitary Operating Permit (VUI-PSF), the Land Use Certificate (VUI-CUS), the Patent or Business License (VUI-PAT), the Compulsory Occupational Risk Insurance (VUI-PRT), and Registration with the Single Tax Registry of the Ministry of Finance (VUI-RUT).
The digital platform, powered by AuraQuantic technology, has seamlessly replaced the previous software employed by the Office of Laws and Decrees within the Presidency of the Republic of Costa Rica. This platform now serves as the central hub through which all laws enacted in Congress, presidential decrees, and various legal documents involving over 20 ministries are processed.
Concerning the achievements made after the implementation of the VUI, it is important to highlight the reduction in data processing times, increased traceability of procedures, elimination of paper usage, improvement in customer service, increased transparency, and greater control and security in terms of the integrity and inalterability of the documents provided by citizens.
Wilford Mario Zamora, Director of the VUI, comments “This initiative is unparalleled in Latin America. There is no comparable project, no established benchmark, or another country that has developed a single platform for Investment”. A fact that has caught the attention of different governments and international institutions.
On the one hand, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has initiated conversations with the VUI management team to incorporate the best international practices into the digital platform. The objective, as Zamora points out, is to “share and replicate them in similar services in Latin America”.
On the other hand, Zamora explains, “We have received inquiries from government institutions in Colombia, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, and other countries, interested in the VUI”, which suggests a high potential for its adoption and adaptation in other Latin American countries.
The Foreign Trade Promotion Agency of Costa Rica (PROCOMER) is a non-state public entity in charge of promoting national exports. Since its founding in 1996, it has designed and coordinated export and investment programs and provided technical and financial support to the Ministry of Foreign Trade to manage special export regimes. It is also in charge of protecting and promoting the country’s commercial interests abroad, as well as streamlining import and export procedures and monitoring foreign trade statistics.