news_1_6Costa Rica’s software service industry grew from 0.28% of GDP to 1.31% between 2002 and 2012, as reported by local paper El Financiero based on figures released by the country’s central bank.

In real terms, its contribution to GDP grew 594% in the same period – pulling in 21.8bn colones (US$43.9mn) in 2012. Growth has remained exponential and constant, with a peak of 54% in 2010 compared to 2009.

The rising value of the colón against the dollar and the entry of multinational IT and telecoms companies to Costa Rica both facilitated the industry’s growth, according to El Financiero. But high internal demand to improve domestic technology has also remained a major force – only 43% of software services production in 2012 was exported.

Income tax garnered from the industry rose 70% between 2008 and 2012 – from 2.44bn colones to 4.14bn colones. More Costa Ricans are seeking to enter the growing tech industries, with 9,256 Costa Rican university students choosing to study computing between 2006 and 2011. Between 2010 and 2012, software engineering attracted 2,615.

Overall, the industry now represents a quarter of the agricultural industry’s share (5.7%) and has surpassed coffee exports (1%).