Sunday 5 February 2023

Export of services stagnated in 2020, after 10 years of sustained growth

The number of jobs generated, not including tourism, increased from 49,440 in 2015 to 81,371 last year; the diversification and sophistication of firms established in Costa Rica stood out

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QCOSTARICA – The value of services sector exports, excluding tourism, stagnated last year, after experiencing a 99% increase between 2010 and 2019.

The multinational Cargill is one of the 189 companies that have service centers in Costa Rica that employ 81,371 people, to last year.

This is revealed by a recount of figures requested from the Costa Rican Coalition of Development Initiatives (CINDE) and a report from the Foreign Trade Promoter (PROCOMER).

The situation of last year, with data for the third quarter (there are no figures for all 12 months) reflects the impact of the pandemic, despite the fact that some multinationals, in certain sectors, maintained growth and hiring during 2020.

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In the accumulated to the third quarter of 2020, the value of exports of services (excluding travel or tourism), barely grew by 0.01% compared to the same period of 2019, according to the latest report from the PROCOMER.

The report indicates that exports were accumulated for US$ 4.1 billion (excluding tourism), to the third quarter last year.

At the end of 2019, income from services, without tourism, totaled US$5.5 billion, which means 99% more than the income of US$2.8 billion in 2010.

The generation of employment, however, did not stop last year. The number of jobs generated by these multinational companies went from 49,440 in 2015 to a close with 81,371 last year, a reflection of the constant announcements of hiring in this sector.

In a half-pandemic, between September 2019 and September 2020, 11,901 jobs were created in this type of multinational, said CINDE. This is because some subsectors, such as business services and computing, information and telecommunications, continued to grow in the middle of the health crisis.

The latest report on the impact of free zones in Costa Rica, prepared by the PROCOMER, indicates that, in addition, companies in the service sector generated 25,534 indirect jobs (in activities and services linked to multinationals), at the end of 2019.

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