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Press Release

Medical devices consolidate as the main product Costa Rica exports

JANUARY 29th 2018

•They represented 27% of goods exports, followed by the agricultural sector with 26%, reveals report from Procomer y COMEX. 
•72 multinational companies from Life Sciences, attracted by CINDE, generate 22.399 jobs currently, 54% is represented by women.
•CINDE reaffirms that the sector’s development goes along with a higher sophistication in the products made in Costa Rica. 

San José, January 29th, 2018. Last year (2017) was transcendental for the Life Sciences sector, in Costa Rica: it became the main product of goods exportations. Statistics from the Foreign Trade Promoter of Costa Rica (Procomer by its Spanish acronym) and the Ministry of Foreign Trade (COMEX by its acronym in Spanish) reveal that, for the first time in Costa Rica’s history, it surpassed the agricultural sector.

In 2017, Life Sciences represented 27% of Costa Rica’s good exportations, the agricultural sector followed with 26%. 

The medical and precision equipment, better known as medical devices, increased 11% compared to 2016. The exportation value from Life Sciences was $2.847 million ($278 million more than 2016) and higher than the $580 millions in 2005. 

This sector exports a variety of devices in various areas such as: cardiovascular, medical-esthetical, dental, neuro-endovascular, orthopedic, optical, and endoscopic. This means Costa Rica became a recognized destiny for the world-wide industry.  

The main markets to which Costa Rica exported medical and precision equipment were: United States, Belgium, and Japan. Also, 7 of the 10 main goods exporters are from CINDE’s multinational companies, 5 of those 7 belong to Life Sciences. 

The Costa Rican Investment Promotion Agency (better known as CINDE in Spanish) acclaims this growth, since it is part of the organization's efforts to increase the level of Costa Rica's exportation products, to put the country in the highest-level markets. 

“At the end of 2017, the Life Sciences sector generated 22.399 jobs, this is 4,5% more than 2016. Currently, there are 72 companies from this area established in Costa Rica and attracted by CINDE. The country has 7 of the 20 biggest companies in medical devices from the world, it is as well within the 7 major suppliers of the United States” explained Jorge Sequeira, Managing Director of CINDE.

By 2017, CINDE confirmed 7 new investment projects, Edwards Lifesciences is an example. It is the world-wide leader in innovation for structural cardiovascular diseases and monitoring of critical care to patients. The company, which arrived in Costa Rica in 2016, announced its expansion plans for more than $100 million, in order to generate more than one thousand jobs. 


About CINDE
CINDE is a private, non-profit organization that has been committed to Costa Rica's sustainable development and social progress for 35 years, through the attraction of foreign direct investment in manufacturing industries and high value-added services that generate quality jobs, knowledge transfer, and productive linkages. 

CINDE also collaborates in strengthening the Costa Rican business climate in a way that fosters the growth of valuable activities in the country, improving the preparation of local talent, and generating employment and greater opportunities for its population in the different communities of the country. 


For more press information
Fabiola Domínguez
fdominguez@cinde.org