Value Proposition of Costa Rica:
• Previous proven
• Human resources trained
• Strategic location
• Quality infrastructure
• Excellent business climate
Our people make the difference
• Costa Rica has one of the highest literacy rates in the Americas (95.8%)
• The abolition of the army in 1948 freed resources that were invested in education and health services for the people
• Education is compulsory until the ninth year and is emphasized computing and English from early grades
• Costa Rica has a population of 4.55 million, of which 43% are between 15 and 40 years old
• The labor force is 2.05 million, with an unemployment rate of 6% (estimated rate to December 2008)
• The National Training Institute (INA) offers free technical training in many fields. A total of 95 colleges and 60 universities prepare professionals with the best international standards. These institutions offer training in various fields such as electronics, electrical, mechanical and process engineering
The Solidarity Association promote a stable work environment
• Associations of workers sponsored by the same companies
• All employees participate voluntarily
• Function as a mutual savings and loan, also providing multiple benefits to members
• The company contributes a percentage of the severance provisions and the employee contributes a percentage of their salary becomes his personal savings
• There are trade unions and trade associations not only function by company
• They have similarities to a retirement plan 401 (k), however no option to include an equity stake in the company
• There is cooperation between employer and employee. According to the Global Competitiveness Report 2008-2009 World Economic Forum, Costa Rica is ranked 8th of between 134 in terms of cooperation in industrial relations.
Strategic location, infrastructure and transport
- Costa Rica has an abundant water supply, hydroelectric power system reliable and advanced telecommunications
- Costa Rica has an extensive road network, two major international airports and three marine terminals
- All passenger and cargo major U.S., Europe and Latin America offer their services with very competitive rates
Costa Rica is your platform to the world
- Central Standard Time Zone
- 2-3 days and delivery through the major mail services
- 14 flights daily to worldwide air cargo
- More than 24 shipping lines with regular departures cargo across the Pacific Ocean and Atlantic Ocean
- Redundant fiber optic network through undersea cables (Maya & Arcos, "Global Crossing" in the Pacific)
- Satellite and terrestrial microwave network to meet demand in fixed, mobile and Internet
- Entry of new global supplier in this market, which will offer greater choice of mobile phone services and Internet
- 93% generated from renewable sources (hydroelectric, geothermal and wind)
- Competitive electricity rates (U.S. $ / KWh). The industrial cost of electricity ranges from $ 0.07 to $ 0.10 per Kwh
- The survey by the World Bank Global Governance Indicators 2008, Costa Rica ranked in first place in Latin America for political stability
- The country does not impose limitations on transfers of funds associated with an investment capital, regardless of the currency
- Do not apply any restrictions on reinvestment or repatriation of profits, royalties or capital
- There is no requirement to register investments with any governmental authorities
- Costa Rica has achieved international standards of protection for intellectual property rights (IPR, by its initials in English)
- Abolition of the army in 1948
- Second Place in Latin America in the Index of Political Stability and Absence of Violence (World Bank, 2008)
- Over 100 years of democracy
- One of the pillars of economic development in Costa Rica has been the liberalization of trade, which has allowed to surpass the share of exports 30% of GDP in 1980 to a rate of 50% of current exports (including exports of goods and services)
- This trade liberalization has promoted a series of structural changes that have led to growth of factor productivity, economic diversification and a higher level of investment
- Real GDP has increased at an annual compound growth rate of 5.3% since 1991
- These decades of peace, democracy, stability and economic growth experienced by the country have led to important social achievements. Over the past 25 years, poverty has declined from 40% to less than 18%
- Costa Rica is one of the highest levels in education and health in Latin America, which is also one of the best worldwide. Has failed to provide all people broad access to services such as health, social security, water and basic services
- The Global Competitiveness Report 2008-2009 of the World Economic Forum, places the education system in Costa Rica in position number 32 of 132 economies (in the first quarter), being the highest in Latin America
Intellectual Property Protection
For Costa Rica's intellectual property protection is a priority.
It is guaranteed by the Constitution, there are also modern protection mechanisms that provide international standards:
- Protection & IP-WTO bilateral FTAs
- CAFTA contains a chapter on Intellectual Property which reinforces and enhances the commitment of Costa Rica with Intellectual Property Rights
- IP Enforcement: Procedures and civil penalties, administrative and criminal
- Backed by over 15 international treaties and 6 national laws
- Encrypted satellite signals carrying programs
- Industrial Designs
- Geographical Indications
Incentives and Costs
- There are incentives to investments directly related to the export of products or services from Costa Rica
- Currently, the Free Trade Zone System gives the beneficiaries the most comprehensive range of benefits available in the country
- Among the tax incentives granted under the provisions of the Law on Free Zones (subject to international treaties) are:
- 100% exemption on import duties on raw materials, components and capital goods
- 100% exemption of corporate income taxes
- 100% exemption from export taxes, local sales, excise and taxes on repatriation of profits
- 100% exemption on taxes on capital
- There are no restrictions on repatriation of capital-gains and foreign currency management
- Expedited customs clearance at the site
- Ability to sell to exporters within Costa Rica
- Ability to sell up to 25% in the local market and even a 50% service sector
- Costa Rica has several industrial parks located in the Greater Metropolitan Area
Doing business in Costa Rica
Over the years Costa Rica has continued to strengthen its legal system to comply with international agreements and regulations.
Both domestic and foreign businesses can develop freely. The companies have no limitations on foreign ownership.
The country allows free movement of capital and has no foreign exchange control.
Costa Rica has a special program called Regime of Free Zones. This scheme provides 100% tax exemption to those companies that meet the minimum requred investment in fixed assets and they are aimed at foreign markets. For more information on the Regime of Free Zones, see the attached document.
Since the early 80's, Costa Rica has actively promoted the export of their goods to support its promotion through the creation of special incentive regimes. The first free trade zones were created in 1982.
The companies that meet minimum investment requirements in fixed assets that are oriented to the external market can be applied to this program of free-zone regime, which has very attractive incentives for tax exemption, such as 100% exemption from tax income for a number of years.
Companies applying for the incentive program of the Free Zone Regime can set up their operations in one of the private industrial parks operating in the country. Most of these parks are located within a range of 32 kms (20 miles) from the main international airport.
Costa Rica maintains a friendly attitude with regard to attracting world class talent, regardless of where I come from this talent. The Directorate of Migration in May 2008 approved an expedited procedure for the regulation of listed firms and their personnel. The purpose of this program is to minimize the migration procedures for individuals and their employers.
Currently there are two types of status for foreign workers:
1. Temporary worker visa (working in Costa Rica for a year or less) 2. Temporary residents (working in Costa Rica for more than a year)
Our people make the difference.
The emphasis on education and health are the cornerstones of our stability. With a literacy rate of almost 96% and a national health system, companies located in the Costa Rican workforce highly motivated and educated people who will contribute significantly to the success of the company.
The labor force growth is 3.7% per year (averaging 60,000 people entering the workforce each year). This allows companies to feel comfortable with the stability and growth of its operations.
Moreover, there are no trade union movements in the private sector, which allows companies to establish programs such as solidarity associations, contributing to better communication between employers and workers.