Investing in Costa Rica
This is a brief overview of the Costa Rican economy, in very basic terms this will make the reader understand the economic outlook of the country and its investment climate.
Costa Rica is a country with a very stable economy, in fact it has evolved from being a tourism and agriculture driven economy, to a more diverse economy; manufacturing medical components and IT services.
With a GDP per capita of $12,000 and a reported a GDP of 45.1bn, Costa Rica is one of the upper income economies in Central America. Poverty has remained around 15–20% for over 20 years. One thing that is worth noting, is that, political stability in my country is very high. For this reason, Costa Rica has attracted a great del of foreign direct investment, but the business climate is still an issue that could be improved. There are still many impediments and bureaucratic obstacles for business setting up in this tiny country. Still, from personal judgement, Costa Rica is still a great place to invest due to the number one resource that this country offers: their people.
Business may realize that moving their operations to other parts of the region is not a viable decision, this is because Costa Rica offers the best of the best when it comes to skilled labour force. In fact, education is the number one priority for the Ticos, after the army was abolished in 1948. Education in my country is perhaps the best in Central America and for that reason, it attracts a tremendous amount of international students.
Costa Rica’s well-educated population, its beautiful natural resources, proximity to North American countries, and eco-friendly trademark, makes the country the most visited nation in Central America. Therefore, tourism is one of the strongest sectors in the economy.
The country has not discovered any sources of fossil fuels, yet, it is not seen as an impediment. Due to its marvelous natural resources, Costa Rica has developed a dozen of hydroelectric and wind plants, which make the country self sufficient. For this reason, the country is known for running 100% in renewable energy for more that 250 days in a row in 2016.
This not only opens the door for pride in our people, but also gives the country a green trdemark. This allows the country to attract foreign funds whom are interested in sustainable investing. Nowadays, sustainable investing is seen as the number one priority for banks, and Costa Rica is among the leaders in this new era. Therefore, this puts the nation at an advantageous position in the future.
One of the biggest problems that Costa Rican businesses have is infrastructure, this brings a great deal of setbacks on growth. This is mainly due to inconsistencies in the government and lack of planning. Nevertheless, the people are positive in this respect and the current political administration is transforming the transportation sector with the help of international funds.
Overall, Costa Rica has more positive qualities than setbacks, when it comes to investing in the country. In a personal note: you will be surprised with the amount of talent in this country!
2. OECD, IMF, World Bank (websites)
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Santiago Romero S.