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New Law will Strengthen Territorial Competitiveness for Attracting Investment Outside the Greater Metropolitan Area

New Law will Strengthen Territorial Competitiveness for Attracting Investment Outside the Greater Metropolitan Area

  • Under the free trade zone model, the law creates new incentives to attract sectors with strong potential outside the GMA, such as the food industry, agricultural input companies, specialized health clinics, sustainable recreational and adventure activities, and commercial conservation or environmentally-friendly scientific research activities. 
  • The law enhances the attractiveness of these regions for new companies that can create job opportunities for their inhabitants and promote more productive linkages, multiplying their positive impact on territorial development. 
San José. May 5, 2022. This Wednesday, Costa Rican President Carlos Alvarado gave his approval to the Law for Strengthening Territorial Competitiveness to Promote Attraction of Investments Outside the Greater Metropolitan Area, No. 10234. Approved by a resounding majority of legislators in the Legislative Assembly, the initiative seeks to foment development and job opportunities in these areas and close persistent gaps that hinder their economic recovery.  
“The economic development and benefits generated by free trade zones should be expanded outside the greater metropolitan area to multiply job opportunities and wellbeing for all Costa Ricans. We urgently need to leverage the free trade zone regime to strengthen development poles outside the GMA”, stated President Alvarado. 
Andrés Valenciano, Minister of Foreign Trade and President of PROCOMER’s board of directors, institutions that co-administer the free trade zone regime, heralded the scope of this achievement, noting that “it will undoubtedly emerge as a fundamental piece  
of the strategy to promote more growth opportunities in Costa Rica, leaving no one behind.” He added that “this has been a priority in the foreign trade sector, comprised by COMEX, PROCOMER, and CINDE, which have been coordinating the efforts in their trenches to strengthen regional development. In this extremely important work, led on this occasion by CINDE, we have had the great pleasure of being able to participate and contribute to the technical roundtables set up for creating the consensus needed to bring this law to fruition.”  
For his part, Managing Director of CINDE Jorge Sequeira stated, “This is a scheme of new-generation incentives to attract investment to our country and, for the first time, they will first be put to use outside the GMA. It reflects our coordinated efforts of more than seven years, hand-in-hand with 20 communities, and impacts 49% of the population, or 2.5 million people. The needs assessment and joint information gathering with all these community players, including the National Network of Local Economic Development Agencies (RENADEL), provided critical technical input to public policy proposals for activating economic recovery and employability in the areas with the greatest needs”. 
Sequeira thanked the legislators for their hard work and strong support in making this law a reality.  
The law will have a maximum of six months from its publication to be regulated and put into operation in every respect. 
Roberto Zeledón president of RENADEL highlighted the fact that “this new law means a huge boost to the communities outside the GMA for creating employment and reactivating their economy. For many years now our regions have needed an initiative that encourages companies to come to our cantons and helps stimulate each area’s productive activities. 
“RENADEL was created for the purpose of uniting efforts and today, in a coordinated manner, we are celebrating a spectrum of possibilities for the Chorotega, central Pacific, southern Pacific, western, northern Huetar, and Caribbean regions. We are grateful for the work of the legislators and the accompaniment of CINDE and the President for making this law a reality.”