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Why Invest in Costa Rica?

Costa Rica's success to attract foreign investments is due to a combination of factors such as: a well-educated workforce, multifunctional and productive; a friendly business environment and financial structure; clear and sustainable benefits and incentives; and a government committed to the success and stabilities of investments, growth and development.

Reasons to Invest

1. Excellent business environment based on a recognized tradition of democracy, economic and political stability. There are currently more than 250 multinational companies operating in Costa Rica.

  • Strategically located in Central America, Costa Rica offers investment opportunities for companies interested in expanding their horizons and establishing in a country with strong democratic institutions, that performs constant efforts to reach a sustainable and inclusive development. The economic and political relations between Costa Rica and its commercial partners are strong and deep, and they also include the development of important areas such as security, education, culture and multilingualism.
  • In the past 10 years, the country has seen a consistent growth of its FDI, which has become a significant complement to domestic savings. The total flux of FDI has grown at an average annual rate of 13.2% since 2002. Currently, more than 250 multinationals operate in Costa Rica. Costa Rica has been particularly successful in sectors such as advance manufacture, medical devices, services and tourism. The dynamism of these sectors is evident when observing the growth in the number of companies and the levels of employment they generate.

2. The country has a young, exceptionally talented, bilingual workforce. 

  • An average 95% of the employees of multinational companies are locals.

3. Costa Rica is a platform of preferential access to 1/3 of the world’s population and 2/3 of the global GDP. 

  • Costa Rica's commitment to economic growth and social development has led the economy toward the promotion of employment and the diversification of its production and exportation products. The total exports (goods and services) have grown at an average annual rate of 9% since 2002. At the same time, while traditional agricultural exports such as coffee, sugar and meat are still important, the country has been very successful in diversifying its production and its export products toward goods and services of higher added value and to specific sectors such as technology and ecotourism. Currently, Costa Rica exports more than 4.000 products to 146 destinations, and the exports and imports represent more than 80% of its GDP. Further, the country has been recognized as the 1st exporter of industral high-technology goods in Latin America, and as the fourth worldwide. 

4. 87% of exports are covered by free trade agreements. The country also offers different aids and incentives to investors.

  • The current Free Trade Zones regime offers the beneficiary companies the widest range of incentives available in the country, such as: i) incentives without time limit (100% exemption in import/export tariffs, in the general sales tax, in withholding of royalties, in benefits and dividends, in interest tax, in stamps); ii) certain exemptions to income tax; and iii) certain incentives with a deadline (such as an exemption to property tax, to transmission of real estate and to municipal patent).

5. Solid infrastructure. More than 90% of the energetic production comes from renewable sources. Redundant access to telecommunications.

  • Costa Rica has a wide network of roads, two important international airports and three maritime terminals. The Juan Santamaría Airport is located 5 km (9.3 miles) from the capital, San José. It is considered the fourth best airport in Latin America and the Caribbean according to ASQ Top Performers 2012. There are 120 daily flights (July, 2013). There are currently passenger flights to 39 different destinations each week. There are 22 airlines operating in both airports.
  • Besides, the country has seven customs offices for the foreign commercial activity: in the border with Panama (Paso Canoas) and Nicaragua (Peñas Blancas), in the Atlantic (Limón) and Pacific (Caldera) ports, in the Juan Santamaría International Airport and the rest (Central and Anexión) in different parts of the country.

6. The quality of life in Costa Rica is high. It is the safe and one of the 5 countries with the best environmental performance globally.

  • According to the Intelligence Unit of The Economist, San José is the fourth city with best quality of life in Latin America.
  • In the Social Progress Index, Costa Rica is in the twelfth position at a global level, and the number one in Latin America.
  • Costa Rica is one of the 5 best countries in environmental performance worldwide.
  • Costa Rica is the second Latin American country in the Global Gender Index (The Gender Gap Report, World Economic Forum, 2012).


About Costa Rica - Statistics

Population 4.667.076 inhabitants
Currency ISO denomination Colon costarricense (CRC)
Currency regulations Entrance of more than 10.000 $ USD must be declared. There is an ample exchange market to perform buying and selling of foreign currency.
Literacy Rate 96,2%
Life Expectancy 79 years
GDP (millions of US$) 45.107
GDP per capita 12.545
Unemployment Rate (2010) 7,8%
Foreign Debt (millions of US$) 14.510
Gross Debt (% of GDP) 51,9%
Growth of the population (annual rate) 1,4%
Age structure

0-14 years 22%

15-64 years 69%

65 years or more 9%

Gender structure (males per females) 0,96
Urban population 65,8%


Complete Investment Guide: Why Invest in Costa Rica? 

Provided by:



Costa Rica Costa Rica

More info:

CINDE Contact Information

Costa Rica

Plaza Roble Edificio Los Balcones, 4to piso

Escazú, San José, Costa Rica

Tel: +506 2201-2800

Fax: +506 2201-2867

Call for free from the USA: 1-877-992-4633


United States

100 Park Avenue, 16th Floor

New York, NY 10017

Tel: +1 (212) 984-0631Fax: +1 (212) 220-6499

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