22% of the ICT Business Park of Costa Rica Offers Technologies Linked to the Fourth Industrial Revolution

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    Companies linked to the Fourth Industrial Revolution represented at least 22% of the total ICT business park in Costa Rica in 2021 (estimated at 450 companies), according to the findings of the study “Profile of the Costa Rican supply specialized in 4.0 technologies (Second Edition, 2021)”, prepared by the Costa Rican Foreign Trade Promoter (PROCOMER).

    This is the second edition of this analysis carried out by the Promoter, the first of which was carried out in 2019. Marta Esquivel, director of Commercial Intelligence at PROCOMER, explained that the services offered by these companies are mainly: Cloud Computing (20% of companies), Integration of Industry 4.0 (19%), Internet of Things (13%), Robotic Process Automation (10%) and Big Data (9%), among a total of 10 technological categories.

    “By the Fourth Industrial Revolution we understand that interaction of digital technologies, cyber-physical systems and networks in the cloud, for example. The world is undergoing a dizzying transformation that is radically changing the way we produce, consume, market and work. It is process of change to which numerous companies at the national level are added”, Esquivel mentioned. He added that, among the main technologies offered by this group of companies, it is the Integration of Industry 4.0 that registered the greatest expansion between 2019 and 2021, going from 2% to 19% in the total number of companies in the sector specialized in it.

    In 2021, the sector was characterized by a greater number of small (54%) and micro (32%) companies, that is, in a range between 1 and 30 employees. Among the companies surveyed for this analysis, the sector registered 1,090 direct jobs, which is a growth of 120 positions compared to 2019, with companies specialized in Cloud Computing registering the largest number of jobs.

    Erick Apuy, economic analyst in charge of the study, explained that “these sizes of companies, measured in terms of employees, allow the sector to have some flexibility for the development of its operations, without mentioning that some of its services may have a limited nature, experimental or exploratory of high added value”, commented Apuy.

    Export experience

    78% of these companies registered exports and in 2021 it is estimated that they made international sales for at least US$11.4 million, being Colombia (43% of the exporters), Mexico (42%), the United States (40%), Panama (38%) and Guatemala (36%) are the main destinations for the commercialization of 4.0 technologies.

    In addition, Apuy recalled that the local market is still the main consumer of 4.0 technologies for this sector, representing 63% of total sales in 2021 (close to US$19.5 million) and increasing this share compared to 2019 when registered 56% participation. “This may show a greater openness on the part of local demand to integrate digital transformation processes. In addition, it is demonstrated that there is still room to develop more local chains, more sales and a greater rapprochement between both parties”, concluded the analyst.

    Technology, health and pandemic

    The PROCOMER study shows that, between 2019 and 2021, a majority of the sector (78%) developed or conditioned some technological solution in response to the needs raised by the pandemic, for example, in solutions for teleworking, product traceability, media payment digital and others, such as applications for the health sector.

    Regarding this last area, Apuy points out that in 2021 the sector showed a growth in clients in the health, medical device and pharmaceutical industry sectors, which reflects signs of the sector’s ability to adapt and explore new value-added opportunities derived from the post-pandemic markets.
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