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Tech Investment in Costa Rica

Jaime Schmidt's picture

Costa Rica is known globally for its white sand beaches, active volcanos and extraordinary wildlife. Nevertheless, there is much more to know about this small Central American country, especially the on fields related to high tech foreign investments.

According to recent studies, Costa Rica has a privileged position in respect of most countries in Central America when it comes to FDI (Foreign Direct Investment) parameters. Proof of that, is that most of the main companies directly or indirectly related to the field of technologies, have branches or outsource offices in this country.

Examples of the above are big companies like Intel, Oracle, Hewlett Packard, Syniverse, Sykes, Coca Cola or Convergys. Which have maintained successful businesses in Costa Rica over the years; showing exponential growth and in most cases expanding their original investments towards more offices and more and business ranges.

Legal and Political Reality and Expectations

Like most countries, Costa Rica faces the challenge to adapt to the necessities and changes that current digital era demands. Both individuals and corporations claim every day more efficient digital services, better infrastructure and accurate responses.

Economically Costa Rica is not particularly strong, therefore it cannot invest heavily on new technologies, nevertheless, throughout the history, it has been a country that with a reputation for trying to stay at the tipping point of the technological revolution.

According to CAMTIC, beside tax collection and economic limitations, this country has taken a vow to continue with the National Strategy, to be “An important international supplier of Information and Communication Technologies, which produce innovative and high valued products and services;  a convergence center in an  eco- friendly environment, democratic and safe for FDI.”

This is backed by Costa Rica Ministry for Industry, Science and Technology, which confirms that globally, they are among the countries with higher rate of investment in the field of R+D.

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This country’s proposal is simple, they offer high quality work forces and an attractive, safe environment; conveniently located between 4 time zones, linking South and North America, and offering a great relationship with most European an Asian nations, it is easy to understand why is this place so attractive for investors.

For this matter in legal field, Costa Rica has strengthen their Economic Free Trade Zones, signed Free Trade Agreements like the CAFTA (which opened the markets to different players), and billed laws specially addressed to ICT protection and regulation, as an effort to stay up dated and remain attractive to investors. 

Is Costa Rica a safe investment?

It is no secret that the country faces important economic limitations and is not the cheapest place to invest in. Petrol and electricity prices are high for Costa Ricans, affecting directly the sustainability of any business.

Regardless, this has not seemed to stop FDI; most experts explain this phenomenon on some qualities worth mentioning:

  • Alphabetization and Education in the country is among the highest in the region.
  • The knowledge of a foreign language (English) is common among their inhabitants
  • Political stability has been a constant since 1949
  • Internet and phone connectivity in over 95% of the country.

These factors have proven their value, on the quality of the services provided by Costa Ricans, as well as the results obtained by companies, which have rarely abandon operations there.  Innovation, stability and a proven competitiveness, worthy of the highest international standards, are this country’s main arguments.

Example of the above is that Costa Rica was recently awarded with a third place followed by India and China on the Global Outsourcing Report (Horasis; Ventures Inc. 2005), recognizing this country as as world class international tech services supplier.  Proving that they are committed with the development of ICT technologies and exporting an average of 2 billion dollars per year.

They now face the challenge to stabilize their taxing and prices. As well as providing efficient public transportation options to help move to and from the word spaces; as some of the most important aspects linked to become a more attractive investment environment.

It is clear that it is not the cheapest country to invest in, but apparently so, one of the safest in Latin America.

 

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Jaime Schmidt's picture

Jaime has more than 7 years of experience in the field of Law, and currently stands out for being an expert on intellectual property issues.

He has developed his practice in the area of intellectual property, mainly in matters related to trademarks, patents, and copyright, thus he has been able to combine his knowledge and experience to provide commercial advice to important clients and companies.

He recently completed a Master's Degree in Information Technology and Communication, Social Networks and Intellectual Property Law at the prestigious ESADE University of Barcelona; Recognized as the best masters in the area at European level. This has allowed him to focus and direct his practice towards the digital and corporate world.

At the moment Jaime is one of the few professionals specialized in Law of the TIC in Costa Rica.

Jaime has more than 2 years of experience as a Public Prosecutor, which has allowed him to develop skills in litigation that proved to be of great value since his arrival at the firm, especially for compliance and anti-piracy issues.

Its multidisciplinary profile indicates that it is able to advise its clients and solve problems effectively.