Costa Rica’s Investment Promotion Agency (CINDE), in its 2019 performance results report said its work directly contributed to the country’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as set by the United Nations.
The Minister of Foreign Trade, Dyalá Jiménez, highlighted the results: “Once again Costa Rica has had a great performance in a truly challenging international environment. Companies continue to recognize the country’s path as an attractive FDI destination in key industries, thanks to different conditions such as our outstanding human talent.
“These figures reflect the country’s hard work. Today, there are many Costa Ricans who enjoy the benefits of FDI occupying quality and well-paid jobs that contribute to development and well-being, in accordance with the SDGs. The Government will not lower its guard.
“We will continue working with redoubled efforts to continue creating the right conditions for FDI, which is undoubtedly a key component in the national economy.”
Multinational companies supported by CINDE created a gross of 16,718 new jobs and 10,141 net jobs in 2019, a record number for the institution even though 2018 foreign direct investment (FDI) global inflows continued to decrease and are expected to maintain that downward trend this year.
CINDE client base of over 300 multinational companies now represents an aggregate of 118,245 direct jobs and 58,980 indirect jobs at the end of 2019. This dynamic performance is the result of a 9.9% yearly net employment growth since 2015.
Also this year, 547 new jobs were created outside of the Greater Metropolitan Area (GAM), which has had an average 10.1% annual growth rate for the past four years.
“In an international context where FDI inflows continue to drop and there are more competing countries, it is truly remarkable to share these positive results and they encourage us to continue contributing to our country’s development,” said Jorge Sequeira, Managing Director of CINDE.
He added: “We are committed to excelling in our position as the world’s top investment promotion agency, with a client-centric vision that provides a smooth landing in the country, and where CINDE becomes a true ally for the company´s strategic business development.”
CINDE also celebrates the job growth that multinationals have had in regions outside the GMA, which reflect the agency´s assistance to more than 20 municipalities. These positive results are possible thanks to active engagement with the community, local governments, and the schools in each region. CINDE continues to work together with multiple regions to improve talent skills and promote more investment opportunities.
The constant employment growth by multinational companies demonstrates their strong footprint and trust in Costa Rica as a strategic operation with 60% of them increasing the number of jobs in 2019, and 6% maintain their employability levels.
Amazon Costa Rica is particularly highlighted given its growth and innovative approach. Amazon employs over 9500 people in the country. Its virtual services center comprises 1050 positions all under a full work-from-home framework. This scheme allows for 53% of the jobs to be held by people in regions outside the GMA. Also, 50% of the positions are held by women.
Multinational companies attracted and supported by CINDE actively promote women’s participation in the labor force. In 2019, 50% of the net new jobs created by these companies were held by women, compared to the country’s average of 39%.
INDUSTRY AND INNOVATION
By attracting and strengthening FDI, Costa Rica improves the diversification of its economy while taking advantage of the opportunities provided by the fourth industrial revolution so that the country can successfully become an active part of the knowledge economy.
CINDE continues to nurture key educational projects where 3,888 people were positively impacted throughout the year. The initiatives are part of the organization’s strategic programs to drive talent development and boost skills for the jobs of the future.
Examples of Investment Projects Announced in 2019
Roche opened a shared services center. The company will give financial support from Costa Rica to the Roche Pharma and Diagnosis divisions in the Americas. The operation will generate approximately 400 direct and 50 indirect jobs by the end of 2020.
Cloudera established a technical support center in Costa Rica. The company, which provides software solutions for Big Data in the cloud and business data centers, announced the establishment of a technical support center in Costa Rica for its customers in the United States and Latin America.
Akamai inaugurated new offices in Costa Rica. The company in the digital technology sector, Akamai, inaugurated its new center in Costa Rica, where it will concentrate all the country’s operations. It established in Costa Rica in 2012 and to date has 300 employees.
WeWork arrived in Costa Rica. WeWork, located in over 101 cities worldwide, announced that by the end of 2019 it will start operating in San José, Costa Rica, aiming to transform the local business ecosystem and becoming a gateway for companies to Central America.
IBM expanded its Cybersecurity Center. The expansion tripled its operating capacity with US$ 21 million investment, confirming the success achieved and a higher demand for the services provided worldwide by cybersecurity professionals in Costa Rica.
Thermo Fisher Scientific opened a new distribution center. With an area of 15,000 square feet, the company increased its installed capacity by 52%. The additional space will be used to store and distribute laboratory supplies, as well as protection equipment for clean rooms.
MCM inaugurated new offices near the Technological City. Midland Credit Management (MCM), a subsidiary of Encore Capital Group, opened its new offices in San José. To date, it has 330 employees and plans to hire more than 100 people due to the company’s growth.
Sachs Chemical chose Costa Rica as the center of operations for Central America. The distribution center of 1,900 square meters located in The Green Park Free Zone, in Alajuela. The investment was over US$ 2,7 million.
NTT Data Services enabled Salesforce Center of Excellence. The company has about 12 key accounts in SalesForce and has hired 30 people. It expects to reach 100 positions by the end of 2019.
Paradise Ingredients inaugurated modern aseptic juice processing plant. The equipment installed in the plant is made in Italy, 100% automated. The expansion of the company was implemented in an area of 5,500 m² and has a productive capacity of 20 million liters per year.
Wind River opened operation for software supply. The company is a world leader in software supply for the intelligent line. It currently employs 40 professionals in customer support, engineering, finance, and technical support.
Bayer Shared Services Center doubled its operations. Its expansion will make the company reach 500 employees. The center gives administrative support to Bayer’s operations to the Americas, except Brazil.
Amazon enabled 2,000 jobs in Costa Rica. The jobs are located in its operations centers and include specialized areas such as customer service, technology and cloud services, analysts, finance and accounting.
Boston Scientific hired 600 people. The new jobs will become part of 4,200 employees currently working in the company, placing it as the largest medical device employer within the sector in the country.
Mexifrutas invested US$20 million in a modern plant for fruit pulp processing. This investment will generate more than 130 jobs for people living outside the Greater Metropolitan Area (GMA) in the first stage. The company has 20 hectares of land in Siquirres, to establish a banana and pineapple pulp processing plant.
Sykes enables 1,000 new jobs. The new hires were between the months of August and December. In addition, within the framework of an agreement signed with the Ministry of Labor and Social Security (MTSS) and as part of the Alliance for Bilingualism (ABI), the company enabled 1,950 positions for the SYKES English Academy.
Kimberly-Clark invests $42 million in its production plant and distribution center. The investment supports the increase in production in its different lines of business. To date, they employ 1,500 people in Costa Rica.
Medtronic opened a medical device plant. The company has had a commercial presence in Costa Rica since 2015. Between 2017 to date, it grew from 140 employees to more than 500. The plant manufactures components for medical devices used for spine surgeries and sent worldwide.
Edwards Lifesciences invested US$100 million in expansion. It expanded its presence in Costa Rica with this investment and 500 new jobs by the end of 2020.
Refinitv opened offices in Costa Rica. The company plans to expand its operations in the short term, with 50 additional positions. The company assists from Costa Rica in the Operations and Finance and Accounting departments.
CRx Life Sciences established engineering services for companies in the medical sector. The engineering services consulting firm, CRx Life Sciences, announced its arrival in Costa Rica planning to provide specialized services to multinational companies in the life sciences sector. The company made an initial investment of US$250,000 and could triple in the upcoming years.