Companies covered by the Free Zone Regime are the ones that are generating most of Costa Rica’s exports of goods. During the 1st quarter of the year, exports from this sector reached US $ 1,925 million, which represents a growth of 12% compared to the same period of 2018, according to data from the Foreign Trade Promoter (PROCOMER) and the Ministry of Foreign Trade (COMEX).

Aerial view of the America Free Zone complex, San José

Among the main drivers of growth in the Life Sciences sector, specifically in precision and medical equipment, which registers a growth of 18%, as well as the chemical and pharmaceutical sector, with a growth of 5%.

Needles, catheters, syringes, devices, and medical prostheses are some of the items that during this quarter catapulted the statistics to become the protagonists of Costa Rican sales abroad. Currently, the country has 30 of the most important medical devices companies worldwide.

For Carlos Wong, president of the Association of Free Trade Zone Companies of Costa Rica (AZOFRAS), the growth of exports in the Free Zone Regime highlights the importance of this sector in the national export structure.

“In a country like Costa Rica that seeks to strengthen free zones as engines of regional development and foreign investment attraction, the increase in exports drives us to continue working to strengthen this regime, and thus continue generating a Costa Rica more competitive, with better jobs, more exports and greater added value”, said Wong.

The dynamism in the medical devices sector is attributed to the logistical facilities, skilled and committed labor, personalized education programs for the needs of the industry.

It should be noted that, in the life sciences sector, many women from sectors such as textiles or heads of household, have found an opportunity for first world employment and training. In this sector, 54% of the companies’ payroll is made up of women.

Costa Rica is the 2nd largest exporter of medical devices in Latin America and ranks among the largest 7 suppliers to the US market, according to data from the Costa Rican Coalition of Development Initiatives (CINDE).

In recent years, the country has evolved from producing medical devices Class I to Class III, including medical-aesthetic, cardiovascular, endoscopy, dental, drug delivery systems, neuro-endovascular, neuro-modulation, optical, orthopedic, sports, and surgical medicine which are exported to markets such as America, Europe, Asia, and Oceania.

For more information, you can contact Yessenia Garita at [email protected] or call 8938-0276.