The Costa Rican Foreign Trade Promoter (PROCOMER) recently carried out a “Mapping of the offer of architecture, engineering and construction services in Costa Rica” in order to know in detail the exportable Costa Rican offer of architecture, engineering and construction services with a view to providing better support in the internationalization process of companies in the sector.
According to the investigation, 51% of the companies in the sector claim to have export experience; however, the share of its international sales in total revenue is still low. Companies that have export experience concentrate their internationalization efforts in the Central American market (61%), but there is also participation in South America (19%), North America (17%), Europe (2%) and Asia ( 2%).
Among the main services that make up the national offer are the design of buildings and infrastructure, consulting services in construction and engineering, and management or direction of projects related to construction.
Through this mapping PROCOMER was able to identify that the lack of incursion into exports is due to challenges or barriers such as high costs to offer services, lack of information on the internationalization of services, lack of knowledge on how to reach international clients, differences in design codes and applicable laws and regulatory difficulties to internationalize plans.
Room for growth
According to Marta Esquivel, Director of Business Intelligence at PROCOMER, “this sector has a lot of room for growth, and it could undoubtedly boost its internationalization efforts; however, we must generate the vision of exports as a business alternative for companies and work on the development of capacities related to the commercialization, marketing, and positioning of their services ”.
For Karolina Ramírez, economic analyst in charge of the study, explained that the information obtained allows PROCOMER to rethink the support that is offered to the sector taking into account its real needs, knowledge and other specificities of the companies that make up this sector
Some of the characteristics that add value to the Costa Rican offer, according to the characteristics highlighted in this mapping, are: the trajectory, quality, customer service, trained human resources and, the support of the Federated College of Engineers and Architects (CFIA) that It stands out as the most robust professional union in Central America.
The architecture, engineering and construction services industry worldwide was valued at $ 317 billion at the end of 2019, and projects a growth of 3% by 2022. According to the Central Bank of Costa Rica, this sector represents 4 % of GDP and generates more than 149 thousand jobs, through more than 220 companies, mostly SMEs.