Discover why Costa Rica is one of the most attractive countries in Latin America

Costa Rica is considered one of the countries with the highest political and economic stability in Latin America.

The nation is a world leader due to its environmental policies and achievements. “Plan de Descabornización 2018-2050” sets the goals to stop using fossil fuels.

Public Spending on Education was 24.2% in 2019, which leads the country to have a high skilled labour force.

It is a top tourist destination and it has been awarded as the best Wildlife and Nature Destination 2019.

Regarding to its foreign trade, its Trade to GDP indicator in 2018 was 67%. Furthermore, its export-import ratio (X/M) was 69%.

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Descubre porqué Costa Rica es uno de los países más atractivos de América Latina.

Key market takeaways

If the next step in your process of internationalisation is Costa Rica, it is advisable to keep the following key market takeaways in mind:

  1. Costa Rica was the 86 largest exporting economy in 2018, with a total of 11.2 billion USD, according World Bank statistics.
  2. Followed by Guatemala with 11 Billion and behind Uzbekistan with 11.21 Billion USD. The countries within its geographical area of influence like Panamá, Honduras and Nicaragua were placed in positions 83, 93 and 112 respectively.
  3. During the period 2016-2018, exports increased at an average annual rate of 7%, from 8.2 billion in 2016 to 11.2 billion USD in 2018.
  4. In 2018, the top 5 exports with 50% out of the total, were:
    • 22% Instruments and appliances used in medical, surgical, dental or veterinary sciences, incl. HS Code 9018
    • 9% Dates, figs, pineapples, avocados, guavas, mangoes and mangos teens, fresh or dried. HS Code 0804
    • 9% Bananas, incl. plantains, fresh or dried. HS Code 0803
    • 6% Orthopaedic appliances, incl. crutches, surgical belts and trusses; splints and other fracture. HS Code 9021
    • 4% Food preparations, n.e.s. HS Code 2106
  5. 22% out of total imports were:
    • 9% Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous minerals (excluding crude); preparations containing. HS Code 2710
    • 4% Motor cars and other motor vehicles principally designed for the transport of persons, incl. HS Code 8703
    • 4% Medicaments consisting of mixed or unmixed products for therapeutic or prophylactic uses, put. HS Code 3004
    • 3% Telephone sets, incl. telephones for cellular networks or for other wireless networks; other. HS Code 8517
    • 2% Instruments and appliances used in medical, surgical, dental or veterinary sciences, incl. HS Code 9018
  6. Total imports of goods were 16.1 Billion in 2018.
  7. In 2017, exports of technological products (medium high tech products), represented 48% out of the total of exported manufactured products.
  8. GDP per capita in 2018 was 17,671 USD. The population reached 5 million inhabitants. The urban population is 79%.
  9. 74% out of total population uses internet. The number of mobile phone subscriptions is 1.7 per inhabitant.
  10. Exports of services rose by an average annual rate of 5.6% in the period 2014-2018, from 7.1 to 9.1 Billion USD.
  11. During the period 2010-2018, foreign direct investment (FDI) received by Costa Rica reached the average annual figure of 2.78 billion USD.
  12. Its main trading partners are United States of America, which represents 80% of exchanges, followed by China with 15% and Mexico with 10% of exchanges.
  13. Container Maritime Traffic in Costa Rica reached 1.49 million TEUs in 2018 (TEU: 20 foot equivalent units). The main commercial ports are:
    • Puerto Caldera is the main commercial port next to the Pacific Ocean.
    • Puerto Limon is the main port on the Caribbean (Atlantic) coast.
  14. Both have quick and easy connections to San Jose (Capital) and to the rest of the country.
  15. Regarding bilateral agreements, Costa Rica has 14 existing regional trade treaties. Its presence in international markets will be bolstered by 1 new treaties which will come into force soon (at the date of this publication).
  16. The legal system is based on civil law system based on Spanish civil code. The type of government is a presidential republic. The current president of the government is President Carlos Alvarado Quesada (since 8 May 2018). The next elections are foreseen for next to be held in February 2022.

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Data from 2018, other years are stated.



Photo by Mohsen Ben Cheikh on Unsplash

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