•Document is the first step to bringing more jobs outside the Central Valley.
•The success of this strategy requires community organization and the work of the authorities in improving regional competitiveness.
San Jose, September 4, 2015. The Costa Rican Investment Promotion Agency (CINDE), presented this morning a strategy to attract investment to communities outside the Extended Greater Metropolitan Area (GAMA) at the Forum called "Promoting Development in regions outside the GAMA".
The document is the result of an eight-month investigation, and will showcase a general mapping of cities outside the GAMA with potential to host investment projects, to potential foreign investors.
Within the study, three geographic areas (North Pacific, Central Pacific and Atlantic) were analyzed and CINDE is already working on the second stage to assess the Northern and Southern Regions of the country.
The research conducted by CINDE, with the participation of international consultants, identified potential locations for FDI cities like Liberia, Alajuela, Orotina, Limon and Turrialba, as well as their areas of influence (surrounding counties).
According to the technical criteria of CINDE, Costa Rica can attract investment out of the GAMA in the transportation, logistics and services industries; maintenance, repair and overhaul (known as MRO); light manufacturing, agriculture, aquaculture and value-added processing; clean technologies and research and development.
The activity was attended by the President of the Republic, Luis Guillermo Solis; the Minister of Foreign Trade, Alexander Mora; the Labour Minister, Victor Morales; the Minister of Human Development and Social Inclusion, Carlos Alvarado; Deputies, mayors and representatives of business sectors; as well as the President of CINDE, Jose Rossi and the Managing Director of CINDE, Jorge Sequeira.
The Minister of Foreign Trade, Alexander Mora, said she was very pleased with the launch of this investment strategy that benefits communities outside the Extended Greater Metropolitan Area (GAMA). "The study was funded by COMEX. It provides us with key inputs to guide public policies towards strengthening economic and social development of the regions outside the GAMA. Its findings are promising and commit us to coordinate and work closely with CINDE and PROCOMER, and many other public institutions and with the force of the same regions, to generate the conditions to create more jobs, more productive linkages and better employment opportunities in these regions that require it so much".
The Managing Director of CINDE, Jorge Sequeira, said "this analysis serves as a world-class tool to further boost the attraction of foreign investment to communities out of the GAMA. However, as a country, the commitment of many actors is required to coordinate efforts to improve competitiveness in all communities, with the help of the government, its ministries, municipalities, community leaders and the same academy as well as the private sector"
During 2014, out of the 39 investment projects installed in the country and attracted by CINDE, 18% were located in areas out of the GAMA. These seven projects represent US $182 million in new investment.
Within these projects, cases like the company Gildan stand out, a company that belongs to the light manufacturing sector and chose to install a weaving, dyeing and finishing of its fabrics manufacturing plant in Guanacaste. The plant is estimated to provide employment to over 1,000 people once operational.
It also highlights the case of the company Bekaert in Orotina, which started operations in 2014, manufacturing steel products to reinforce concrete and creating jobs for people in the surrounding areas.
The Study of Free Zones 2010-2014 states that there are 311 companies under the regime of which 14% are located out of the GAMA.
During the activity the Talent GPS program developed by CINDE was presented and it will be diffussed with the support of the Ministry of Labour and the Joint Institute for Social Assistance (IMAS for it names in Spanish). The aim of the digital tool, which will be posted on the websites of the aforementioned ministries, is to identify and locate the available human talent in companies that require staff.
With the launch of the investment strategy in areas outside the GAMA, CINDE gives the first step that must now be complemented by communities and authorities, which must implement the necessary improvement measures to attract future investment projects.