(QCOSTARICA) Sales of technology services is outperforming tourism, due to the increasing demand for Costa Rican products.
According to the annual report by the Costa Rican Chamber of Information and Communication Technologies (Cámara de Tecnología de Información y Comunicación – CAMTIC), annual exports, excluding components, is about US$2.88 billion dollars.
CAMTIC says that the numbers is not surprising given that today some 47% of technology companies export, while in 2004 it was only 30%.
“The technology sector has become very strong. Today it represents 20% of the gross domestic product,” said Otto Rivera, director of CAMTIC.
CAMTIC figures indicate that the majority of the exporters (86%) have sales less than US$1 million dollars, with forecasts for growth in sales.
The United States is the major destination for Tico exports, followed by Panama and Nicaragua, according to the report.
As part of the internationalization process, 18% of Costa Rican companies have set up offices in other countries, increasing the potential placement for their products and services, while others (41%) do so by way of partners abroad and sales over the internet, among other channels.
However, the lack of financial resources es the main constraint of national companies to increase foreign sales. Companies need on average three years from start to its first export.
Following is the lack of exposure to international markets. This is where the PROCOMER – Costa Rica’s foreign promoter – plays an important role, supporting national businesses with programs to develop strategies for sales and marketing abroad.
In contrast to other sectors, such as tourism, the information technology sector is forecasting a significant increase in business for the coming year, says the report. Growth forecasts suggest that 80.9% of export companies increase sales, while 16.9% will remain the same and 2.2% will see a decrease.