Wednesday, March 17, 2021. San Jose, Costa Rica. Five years ago, CINDE launched a project to promote investment outside the greater metropolitan area (GMA) in 20 Costa Rican cantons. At that time, 2,105 people were working in those areas in multinational companies supported by CINDE. Today that figure surpasses 3,660. The number has grown by 15% every year, and the goal is to keep it growing.
To do so, CINDE has identified sectors with higher foreign direct investment (FDI) potential in each of the six regions comprising the 20 cantons. The next step will be customized investment proposals based on existing conditions in the territories and opportunities identified with multinational firms.
That is one of the measures CINDE will implement in its strategy to attract more FDI outside the GMA, which will go together with its direct work with the 20 communities to learn the results of an individual in-depth study for each.
As Yahaira Barquero, CINDE´s Lead of Investment Promotion in Rising Cities, explained, “The six regions outside the GMA combine the formula for driving Costa Rica’s sustainable productivity and smart growth based on three strategic pillars: people, planet, and prosperity. CINDE is betting on developing regional value propositions as a tool for boosting investment outside the Costa Rican GMA; the idea is to continue creating more jobs and opportunities in those areas.”
The measures were announced today within the framework of the virtual annual meeting of communities outside the GMA that CINDE organizes every year with the 20 participating cantons: Buenos Aires, Corredores, Osa, Coto Brus, Golfito, Pérez Zeledón, Siquirres, Pococí, Limón, Turrialba, San Carlos, Grecia, Sarchí, Naranjo, Palmares, San Ramón, Puntarenas, Orotina, Liberia, and Carrillo.
According to Foreign Trade Minister Andrés Valenciano, “With the support of CINDE and the regional PROCOMER offices, a coordinated, continuous effort is being made with the different communities outside the GMA. The goal is to improve their competitiveness so that more and more companies can find optimum conditions in these places for investing and growing. Little by little, we have started to see the fruits of this effort. For instance, the latest data show that jobs created by FDI companies outside the GMA have grown at an average annual rate of 15% in the last five years.”
He added, moreover, that “for the foreign trade sector, development in areas outside the GMA is an essential task, and we know there is still much work to be done. Count on our support so we can continue to create the best conditions in these territories, which will result in jobs, opportunities, development, and wellbeing for all!”
Other action areas, added Barquero, include promoting streamlined procedures and regulatory improvement outside the GMA so that more and more cantons sign on to the One-stop Investment project (Ventanilla Única de Inversión, or VUI) led by PROCOMER.
Likewise, CINDE will develop regional webinars as training and skill-building tools for decision-makers in each community. Experts will participate in addressing the topics of interest for the different areas.
Employment Outside the GMA in Figures