Health Tech World Magazine Deep Dives in Costa Rica’s MedTech Success Story
The medtech economy in Costa Rica is one of its fastest-developing sectors, with the transformational growth seen over the past 20 years continuing to gather pace. Health Tech World learns more about the country’s burgeoning reputation in medtech on a global scale
In 2017, medical devices became Costa Rica’s top export, surpassing the agricultural sector for the first time in the country’s history, with exports set to hit $5billion by the end of 2021 – increasing by over $1.3billion in just three years.
Such statistics are not only impressive, but are indicative of the huge efforts being made by the country to build this emerging sector, transforming it from a minor part of its economy to one of the fastest-growing areas in barely two decades.
Costa Rica is now home to nine of the world’s top 20 global original equipment manufacturers
(OEMs) with more than 81 other medtech businesses also choosing to be based there.
The top industrial export good in 2020, medical devices now account for 35 per cent of total exports, up from 16 per cent in 2004. And with 15 trade agreements in place, with two more in process including with the UK, the export route for multi-nationals from Costa Rica is an attractive option.
Inward investment is ongoing, with recent arrivals including Nextern and ADMEDES, while others including Viant, SMC and MicroVention all investing in the expansion of their existing operations, creating more jobs in this burgeoning sector. Pharma and health and wellbeing are earmarked as particularly strong areas for potential future growth.
Employing 1,500 people in 2010, now almost 40,000 are now working in medtech and life sciences, with ongoing investment in Costa Rica’s education and skills training programmes to help support the availability of employees to match business needs.
And with the country being the base for end-to-end creation of medical devices – from research and development through to manufacturing and supply chain – with its capability to create increasingly complex devices growing all the time, its export credentials are understandable.
CINDE, the inward investment agency in Costa Rica continues to play a key role in the ongoing development of the country’s medtech sector, which forms part of a wider push on key areas including digitalisation and sustainability.
“Medtech has become a key component of Costa Rica’s economy, it is the leading sector in the export of goods thanks to the manufacturing of medical devices, turning it into the second-largest exporter of its kind in Latin America,” says Pilar Madrigal, director of investment advisory at CINDE
Continue reading the full article here.