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Business Opportunities in Costa Rica

Business Opportunities in Costa Rica published on

Authored by U.S. Department of Commerce

The United States is Costa Rica’s main trading partner, accounting for about 47% of Costa Rica’s total imports. According to U.S. Census Bureau trade data, the U.S. had a US$4.8 billion trade deficit with Costa Rica in 2012, as compared with a deficit of US$4.0 billion in 2011, US$3.5 billion in 2010, a deficit of US$897 million in 2009,and surpluses of US$1.7 billion in 2008, US$639 million in 2007, US$288 million in2006, and US$183 million in 2005.

Foreign direct investment in Costa Rica climbed steadily from the year 2000 ($408million) to 2008 (over $2 billion), falling back over the last three years to 2006 levels of roughly $1.5 billion. New foreign direct investment in Costa Rica from all countries was US$1.6 billion in 2012, US$1.56 billion in 2011, US$1.46 billion in 2010, US$1.35 billion in 2009, US$2.08 billion in 2008, US$1.9 billion in 2007, US$1.5 billion in2006, and US$861 million in 2005. About 70 percent of that investment has come from the United States. Del Monte, Dole, and Chiquita have a large presence in the banana and pineapple industries.

In recent years, Costa Rica has successfully attracted important investments by such companies as Intel Corporation, which employs 3,200 people at its major fabrication plant; Procter & Gamble, which employs about 1,200 in its administrative center for the Western Hemisphere and has plans to increase its number of employees in 600more by the end of this year; Hewlett-Packard (6,500), Boston Scientific, Allergan, Hospira, Baxter Healthcare and others from the healthcare products industry. According to the US Census Bureau, 2011 data show that two-way trade between the U.S. and Costa Rica exceeded $16.2 billion during that timeframe. Other U.S. companies with a great number of employees in Costa Rica include Dell, Amazon, IBM and Western Union.

After experiencing positive growth for several years, the Costa Rican economy shrank slightly in 2009 (-2.5%) due to the global economic crisis. The services sector (around 68% of GDP) was the most affected, with tourism falling by 8%. The economy experienced a rebound in 2010 with a 3.6% GDP growth rate, a growth rate in 2011 of 3.8%, and a growth rate in 2012 of 5.1%. Costa Rica enjoys the region’s highest standard of living, with a per capita income of about US$7,843, and an unemployment rate of 7.37%. Consumer price inflation is high but relatively constant at about a 10% annual rate over the last decade.

Publication Date:
Sep 05 2014
1501067648 / 9781501067648
Page Count:
Binding Type:
US Trade Paper
Trim Size:
8.5″ x 11″
Black and White
Related Categories:
Business & Economics / General


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