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Press Release

U.S. News Ranks Costa Rica in Top 3 Countries for Investment Globally

JANUARY 13th 2020

•It includes combined perception analysis and hard data on several variables for greater precision.

Costa Rica is within the world’s top three best countries to invest, preceded only by Uruguay and Saudi Arabia, according to the fourth edition of The Best Countries to Invest In, published in 2019.*

The study is updated annually by U.S. News & World Report, with Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and BAV Group. 

It analyzes investment in different countries, drawn from a survey requested to 20,300 people from 36 countries on all continents, that feeds other reports, such as "The best countries", and several specific ones such as: "The best countries to retire", "The best countries to visit", "The best countries to start a business", "The best countries to raise children", among others.

"The best countries to invest" covers the perception of 7,000 entrepreneurs and considers eight of 65 characteristics of the total survey, such as: corruption, dynamism, economic stability, entrepreneurship, fiscal atmosphere, qualified human talent, innovation, and experience in technology. 

According to the Minister of Foreign Trade, Dyalá Jiménez Figueres, this is a great example of how Costa Rica is seen from abroad. "This result can influence decision-making of companies that do not yet know us as a business destination to establish in our country." She added: “It is remarkable that the eight characteristics are areas in which we work hard to improve our public policy standards precisely by the process of Costa Rica joining the OECD. These are areas in which we will also continue working once we become part of the organization”.

For Jiménez, "the tool also reaffirms the recognition of some of our great virtues, such as political and economic stability, the talent of our people, and our vision of sustainable development." Indeed, the report highlights Costa Rica as one of the most politically and economically stable countries in Central America, since its founding in the 19th century. The minister concluded by pointing out that: "We must be inspired to reach our maximum potential, to continue attracting the investment that contributes so much to the growth of the living conditions of our citizens."

Jorge Sequeira, Managing Director of CINDE, the Costa Rican Investment Promotion Agency, highlighted: “We celebrate this recognition that confirms why Costa Rica continues to be as a strategic ally for multinationals across the globe. In 2019, we attracted 44 investment projects and had a record of 56 reinvestment projects.”

Last year, the country experienced dynamic investment growth. It announced projects such as WeWork, turning Costa Rica as the first site in Central America; leveraged human talent like Amazon, which created 2,000 additional jobs to sum up 10,000 employees in different processes; and demonstrated the ability to position itself towards the knowledge economy such as IBM’s Cybersecurity Center, which tripled its operating capacity with a US$ 21 million investment project.

In 2018, the total exports of the services sector in Costa Rica reached US $9,092 million, representing 45% of the total exported by Costa Rica that year, which almost doubles the average of the OECD countries (27%). Costa Rica is also the most open country in digital international trade, according to the OECD Digital Services Trade Restrictions Index.

In 2019, more than 300 multinational companies attracted by CINDE generated a record figure of 16,718 gross and 10,141 net jobs, which represented an accumulated of 118,245 direct jobs and 58,980 indirect jobs.

*This article was edited and updated on January 15th, 2020, after US News published the Best Countries to Invest In 2020 ranking. 

CINDE's Media Contact
Carlos Morales

Fabiola Domínguez