Costa Rica’s Advantages

 

There are many reasons why doing business in Costa Rica Makes sense. Read more about the country and its people, what it offers businesses, and what it offers tourists.

Costa Rica and Its People

Education

  • A minimum 6% of GNP is established for education
  • Best educational system in Latin America
  • Ranked 20th in the world***
  • Many universities around the world have study abroad programs in Costa Rica and vice versa.
  • 9 Years Compulsory
  • Over 10,300 Educational Institutions
  • Literacy – Currently 96%
  • Population (2014): 4,953,313
  • Population Age: 43% are between the ages 15 – 40
  • Workforce: (2014): 3.4 million*

Low Turnover

  • Annual Turnover in Costa Rica is traditionally low.
  • Tico Electronics follows this trend as turnover is not an issue.

Location

  • Geographically close to North America
  • Never more than 2 hours time zone difference to North America
  • No more than a 6 hour direct flight from any major North American city
  • 51,100 sq. km (19,730 sq. mi.)
  • Climate: tropical and subtropical; dry season (December-April); rainy season (May-November); cooler in highlands
  • 99% of electrical energy is from clean resources (hydroelectric)**
  • Carbon Neutral – Current plan is to be carbon neutral by 2021**
  • Terrain: A rugged, central range separates the eastern and western coastal plains
  • Climate: Mild in the central highlands, tropical and subtropical in coastal areas

Low Cost Economy

  • Costa Rica and Tico Electronics offer competitive labor rates

Stable Economy

  • Costa Rica has a history of economic stability
  • Real GDP growth rate: 5% (2014)*
  • There has not been a macro-economic crisis in over 30 years

Stable Government

  • Democracy: President serves one four-year term, by election
  • Democratic style Constitution
  • No military (abolished in 1948)
  • More than 100 years of political stability
  • Stability ranked among top in Latin America
  • Democratic republic with a system of constitutional checks and balances – public officials are elected by majority
  • President: Luis Guillermo Solis
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The Business Environment

Top of Their Class

  • Top exporter of high technology in Latin America
  • Ranked 13 Worldwide in Tholons Top 100 Outsource Destinations
  • Ranked first for Innovation in Latin America
  • Lowest Risk Rating in Latin America
  • Safest country in Latin America
  • ‘Happy Planet’ #1 Worldwide Ranking
  • Environmental Performance Index (Yale University) – #3 Worldwide

Foreign Policy

  • Business environment and legal framework open to foreign investment
  • U.S./Canadian/European copyrights/intellectual property protected in Costa Rica
  • Foreigner business owners receive the same benefits as Costa Rican citizens
  • When a building is purchased, even by a foreigner, the land is a part of the ownership
  • They understand the North American and European business mentality
  • Free Zone System/CAFTA
  • Labor Unions only in Public Sector

Statistics

  • GDP (2014) – $58.8 billion*
  • Per Capita Income (2014) – $12,606
  • Unemployment (2014) – 7.5%*
  • Real Growth Rate (2014) – 5%*
  • Inflation (2014) – 4.5%*
  • Income Category – Upper middle income**

Large Companies in CR

A few of the large companies with strategic manufacturing in Costa Rica***

Intel Mega Laboratory
Intel Mega Laboratory
  • Start-up operations: 2014
  • Employees: 350
  • Services delivered:  Authorizing and determining the efficiency and quality of new Intel products prior to their manufacturing and distribution.
  • Languages: Spanish, English, and Portuguese
Intel Engineering Center and Global Shared Services Center
Intel Engineering Center and Global Shared Services Center
  • Start-up operations: 1997
  • Employees: 1,500
  • Services delivered:  Manufacturing research and development
  • Facts: The combination of the Mega Lab along with the Engineering Center and the Global Shared Services Center is the first time Intel will have consolidated its laboratories in a single location.
Sykes
Sykes
  • Start-up operations: 1998
  • Employees: 2,800
  • Services delivered: Outsourcing operation that offers customer care and technical support
  • Facts: Sykes is a pioneer company in the service sector in Costa Rica. After 13 years operating in the country, the company has consolidated its presence through 3 different facilities.
AvVenta
AvVenta
  • Start-up operations: 2005
  • Employees: 500
  • Services delivered: Digital Production: Outsourcing Operations for Multimedia, Web Design, and Animation and conceptualization campaigns
  • Facts: AvVenta Costa Rica became the Digital Production Center of Excellence in Central America.
Vitec
Vitec
  • Start-up operations: 1986
  • Employees: 120
  • Products exported: Tripods and Center Ball Head
  • Exports Destination: United States, Germany, and England
  • Industrial Building: 3,678 m2 / 39,589 ft2
  • Facts: They stared with light assembly and throughout the years they have brought more complex operations and now at this facility they manufacture for their three main brands: Oconnor, Sachtler, and Vinten. Currently 50% of components are sourced locally.
Trimpot
Trimpot
  • Start-up operations: 1979
  • Employees: 640
  • Products exported: Electronic & Electrical Components for Industrial, Automotive, and Medical use
  • Exports Destination: United States, Europe, and Asia
  • Industrial Building: 14,610 m2 / 157,260 ft2
  • Facts: TRIMPOT manufactures in Costa Rica 7 of their 10 top selling potentiometers.
Experian
Experian
  • Start-up operations: 2008
  • Employees: 150
  • Services delivered: Data mining/processing, Software Development, IT Helpdesk, IT Security Administration
  • Languages: English and Spanish
Baxter
Baxter
  • Start-up operations: 1987
  • Employees: 1,130
  • Products exported: IV Sets, Feeding Sets & Accessories
  • Exports destination: United States
  • Industrial Building: 16,435 m2 / 176,904 ft2
  • Facts: Baxter is the pioneer company of the MD sector, growing every year into higher value-added products. The CR plant has won two international prizes (Shingo and Patterson Awards). It has in-house E-Beam sterilization.
Baxter Americas
Baxter Americas
  • Start-up operations: 2005
  • Employees: 145
  • Services delivered: Finance and Accounting for the Americas
  • Languages: English and Spanish
  • Facts: Baxter Americas is centralizing financial operations for Brazil and Mexico.
P&G
P&G
  • Start-up operations: 1999 (GBS) / 2008 (BTC)
  • Employees: 1,358
  • Services delivered: Finance and Accounting, ITO and Business Transformation Center
  • Languages: English, Portuguese, and Spanish
  • Facts: P&G Business Transformation Center centralized Information Decision Services in Costa Rica.
Hewlett-Packard
Hewlett-Packard
  • Start-up operations: 2004
  • Employees: 6,500
  • Services delivered: Finance and Accounting, Technical Support & IT Infrastructure and HP Networking: the first R&D center established out of the US in charge of Chip design for Ethernet equipment, design of embedded software for wireless equipment and design of the last generation of chipsets.
  • Software & Hardware Testing
  • Languages: English, Spanish, Portuguese, French, Italian, and German
  • Facts: HP is the second largest private employer in Costa Rica centralizing BPO, ITO, and KPO functions
Hospira
Hospira
  • Start-up operations: 1999
  • Employees: 2,650
  • Products exported: IV Sets, Components & Accessories, Electromechanical Infusion Pumps, and Saline Solutions
  • Exports destination: America, Africa, Asia, Australia, and Europe
  • Industrial Building: 58,400 m2 / 628,612 ft2
  • Facts: Hospira ranks #2 in the country’s main exporters, and #1 in the industry. It consolidated most of the procurement locally.
Boston Scientific – CR1 Heredia
Boston Scientific – CR1 Heredia
  • Start-up operations: 2004
  • Employees: 314
  • Products exported: Class II and III cardiovascular devices
  • Exports destination: United States
  • Industrial Building: 9,864 m2 / 106,175 ft2
  • Facts: BSci is one of the fastest growing companies. Recently, it retrofitted the initial plant for new transfers.
Boston Scientific – CR2 Coyol
Boston Scientific – CR2 Coyol
  • Start-up operations: 2004
  • Employees: 2,150
  • Products exported: Minimally invasive devices for Endoscopy and Urology applications (biopsy forceps, snares, stents)
  • Exports destination: United States
  • Industrial Building: 31,773 m2 / 342,000 ft2
  • Facts: It manufactures 100% of the snares in CR, and about 90% of the biopsy forceps. BSci CR2 is the first LEED certified company in Latin America.
Western Union
Western Union
  • Start-up operations: 1998
  • Employees: 850
  • Service provided: Finance and Accounting Shared Services, Global Telecommunications Networking, Software Development, Contact Center, Technical Support, Agent Service Support and Talent Management
  • Languages: English, Spanish, German, French, Portuguese, Italian, Mandarin, and Cantonese
  • Facts: Western Union Costa Rica became the global service center of excellent for the Corporation servicing the Americas, Europe, Middle East and Africa.
Hologic
Hologic
  • Start-up operations: 2004
  • Employees: 785
  • Products exported: Diagnostic Devices for Women’s Healthcare. Its star device -the NovaSure- is manufactured only in CR.
  • Exports destination: United States
  • Industrial Building: 13,479 m2 / 145,086 ft2
  • Clean room area: 2,550 m2 / 27,450 ft2 for Class 7 & 8 Clean Room
  • Facts: Hologic started as Novacept with an outsourcing project in year 2000. The company has expanded in size and complexity of products.
St. Jude Medical
St. Jude Medical
  • Start-up operations: 2010
  • Employees: 750
  • Products to export: Biological tissue heart valves
  • Exports destination: Europe and USA
  • Industrial Building: 20,000 m2 / 215,280 ft2 –
  • Clean Room area: 6,000 m2 / 64,583 ft2 for Class 7 & 8 Clean Room
  • Facts: The CR facility will be the first multi divisional plant for St. Jude Corp. There will be a Global Physician Training Center implemented.
IBM
IBM
  • Start-up operations: 2004
  • Employees: 1,000
  • Services delivered: BPO, Human Resources, CRM, Marketing, and Customer Service Functions
  • Languages: English, Spanish, French, and Portuguese
  • Facts: IBM delivers services to over 30 multinational companies from Costa Rica.
Arthrocare
Arthrocare
  • Start-up operations: 2002
  • Employees: 750
  • Products exported: Coblation-based devices for specialties including arthroscopy; spine and neurology, and ENT. They also make the controllers.
  • Exports destination: United States and Europe
  • Industrial Building: 4,036 m2 / 43,443 ft2
  • Clean Room area: 1,080 m2 / 11,625 ft2 for Class 7 Clean Room
  • Facts: The Costa Rican plant is their sole manufacturing facility. It also has a small services operation in-house.
Emerson Electric
Emerson Electric
  • Start-up operations: 2008 Engineering Center/ 2009: Shared Service for F&A
  • Employees: 260
  • Services delivered: Process Engineering Services, Finance and Accounting
  • Languages: Spanish, Portuguese and English
  • Facts: Only two years after opening its first operation in Costa Rica, Emerson inaugurated its shared services operation center.
Allergan
Allergan
  • Start-up operations: 2004
  • Employees: 549
  • Product exported: : Breast aesthetics (#2 in the global market leadership) and obesity intervention devices (ranks #1 in the gastric banding leadership with 70% of market share).
  • Exports destination: United States, Europe, Asia Pacific, and Australia
  • Industrial Building: 13,200 m2 / 142,083 ft2
  • Facts: It consolidated the manufacturing of breast implants in CR, including shell fabrication- Class III FDA regulated. It is the second largest MD exporter.

 

Other Large Participants in the Country

  • Fujitsu
  • Bournes/Trimpot
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Vacation Destination

A great vacation spot for many activities or just to relax. Whether you like golf, deep sea fishing, traveling through the canopy of tall trees, river rafting, horse back riding, surfing, ATV, etc. Or just to lay on a beach, relax by a pool or spend time in a rain forest, Costa Rica offers a great place for business and pleasure.

Beaches

  • Costa Rica is a small country, but has over 1,100 miles of idyllic beaches

Surf

  • Always a popular surfing location

Mountain’s

  • There are mountains to explore

Rain Forest’s

  • Rain Forests are a big part of Costa Rica’s tourist popularity

Hike/Explore

  • There are many interesting locations to hike to

Aerial Trams

  • View the rainforest from above the trees

Canopy

  • It’s fast, fun and scenic

Scuba

  • Good dive spots with lots to see in the sea

Golf

  • Get in a round on a course you want to tell your friends about

Relax

  • It’s what you want to do on a vacation

Horseback

  • Horseback is a great way to see the country

ATV Tours

  • If you like bikes and off-roading, there are many ATV tours that will take you off the regular path

Volcano’s

  • There are many volcanoes that you can see up close

Hot Air Ballooning

  • No trip is complete without seeing it all in a Hot Air Balloon
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*The Heritage Foundation
** U.S. Department of State
***CINDE