Costa Rica Breaks Record of Foreign Investment Projects Amid Pandemic

    Companies from eleven nations are interested in setting up or expanding operations in the country

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    The crisis caused by COVID-19 was positive for Costa Rica in terms of attracting foreign investment projects, reveals the latest annual report of the Coalition of Development Initiatives (Cinde).

    Despite the complicated world economic outlook, Costa Rica managed to attract 81 new investment projects in 2020. Of these, 26 are new companies, from eleven destinations, including Japan, Denmark, France, Germany, India, the United Kingdom and Bosnia.

    More than half of the companies that are entering come from non-traditional markets, which also represents a record in the diversification of foreign direct investment (FDI). The remaining 55 are new processes and divisions of companies that are already installed in the country. Several of those 81 projects were completed and others are still in the works, said Eric Scharf, president of Cinde.

    “This year, to everyone’s surprise, was a record year for foreign investment. The companies continued to rely on Costa Rican human talent (…) and part of Cinde’s efforts was to diversify those source markets,” added Scharf.

    Clear advantage

    On the other hand, the country is beginning to take advantage of the economic blow to China and other Asian countries where COVID-19 was more aggressive, causing capital flight. “Luckily for Costa Rica, the sectors that have the potential to win after the Pandemic already have investments in the country and are active,” explained Jorge Sequeira, CEO of Cinde.

    The new projects, together with the companies already installed, generated almost 20 thousand jobs this year, 18% more than what was registered in 2019. The net gain in jobs is higher even if we subtract the layoffs, as it closes with a favorable figure of 14,700 more jobs than last year. Also, 54% of the more than 330 multinational companies attracted by Cinde grew.

    The most important new investments this year were NACS, dedicated to offering automation solutions to industrial companies, Nevro, a global medical device company and ADMEDES, the world’s largest contract manufacturer of self-expanding nitinol (nickel titanium alloy) components.

    Meanwhile, the most relevant reinvestment projects were those of Amazon (2,000 jobs), Microvention-Terumo (2,000 jobs), Sykes (1,050 jobs), Concentrix (1,300 jobs) and Intel, which will reactivate its assembly and manufacturing section injecting the country $ 350 million in three years.

    2020 IN NUMBERS

    These are the 2020 results of the multinational companies attracted by Cinde:

    New jobs created 19,806

    Net profit from jobs 14,709

    Cumulative employment 134,026

    Companies that grew 54%

    Annual growth rate of employment in Cinde companies 12.3%

    Female participation in new employment in multinationals 49%

    Projects signed 81

    New companies 26

    Diversification projects 55

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