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CINDE Costa Rica

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Escazu, San Jose, Costa Rica


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Life Sciences Sector

Latin America's leading

Med Tech hub

Home to 6 of the top 20 largest
medical device companies in the world

Leaders in MedTech
investment of the region

Innovation, education and thirst for knowledge are embedded in our DNA… So much so, that over 250 high-tech manufacturing companies, more than 60 of which are medical device producers, have made Costa Rica their hub for creating a competitive, solid business operation.

"Costa Rica has emerged as a leading location globally, outside of Europe, for MedTech investment, attracting 47 MedTech projects over a five-year period including 18 in 2012, and ranking 7th globally in terms of the number of manufacturing projects ahead of the Netherlands, Brazil and Mexico, between 2008 and 2012." (MEDTECH REPORT 2014 – Oxford Intelligence)

The country has evolved over the years from producing Class I to Class III medical devices including aesthetics, cardiovascular, dental, endoscopy, medication delivery systems, neuro-endovascular, neuro-modulation, optics, orthopedics/sport medicine/ENT & surgical/diagnostics components; which now serve markets in America, Europe, Asia and Oceania. Costa Rica is now the second largest exporter of Medical Devices in Latin America and among the top 7 suppliers to the US market.

Just take a look at how fast we’re growing:

13xhigher EMPLOYMENt

The employment in this sector is 13x higher than what it was in 2000.

9xmore companies

The number of companies in this sector is 9x higher than in 2000, from 8 to 68.

+30%Productivity increase

Average output per employee increased from $76K in 1999 up to $99K in 2014 (+30%)

Continuous exports growth:

Medical Equipment

Exports of Precision and Medical Equipment (P&EM) grew from 2% of total industrial exports in 1998, to 32% in 2015.

Medical Devices

Exports of medical devices have grown at an average annual rate of 14.3% in the last decade (from US$580 million in 2005, to US$2,200 million in 2015)

Medical devices exports by level of sophistication in the last decade:

Medical Stats
DOWNLOAD ALL STATSSource: CINDE based on data from BCCR,
IMF and TradeMap, 2014.

The Life Sciences sector has continued to experienced incredible dynamism in Costa Rica, growing to represent 23% of the country´s total exports of goods in 2015 (Source: Procomer, 2016). In the last decade exports of precision and medical equipment have grown almost 280% and Medical Devices was the #1 industrial export good of Costa Rica in 2015, accounting for 4% of the total GDP


#1 Educational System in Latin AmericaWEF 2015-2016

#1 in Availability of engineers and scientists in Latin AmericaWEF 2015-2016

#1 in Production process sophistication in Latin AmericaWEF 2015-2016

#1 in Innovation in Latin AmericaWEF 2015-2016

#1 in University-Industry Collaboration in R&D in Latin AmericaWEF 2015-2016

#1 in Cooperation of Labor-Employer Relations in Latin AmericaWEF 2015-2016

Safest country in Latin Americalatin Business Chronicle 2014

What exactly can we do in this sector? explore Business opportunities

The emergence of Costa Rica as a leading destination for MedTech manufacturing investments indicates the positive economic impact that can be achieved from investments in infrastructure and legal frameworks.”

Oxford Intelligence

Costa Rica offers the right

conditions for your business

Here are 8 reasons to choose us

The Life Sciences industry has become such a strategic sector for the country that in 2012, the Costa Rican government declared investigation, development and production of Medical and Biotech Devices on national territory of public and national interest.

These are just a few reasons that will boost your Life Science operation:

  • 1.extensive & reliable supplier chain

    We foster an ideal ecosystem with over 100 local and multinational companies conforming a sound supplier base that offers solutions in many areas

  • 2.14 free trade agreements

    14 FTAs signed which provide access to 57 trade partners, including the European Union (27), United States, Canada, Mexico, Chile, China, Peru and Singapore, among others.

  • 3.close proximity to USA

    Close proximity to the USA, with air travel in less than 3 hours and +1000 international flights worldwide weekly.

  • 4.broad offer of Industrial parks

    Several industrial free zone parks located throughout the country offering robust infrastructure.

    Learn more here
  • 5.constant improvement

    In order to improve our human capital skills, we’ve created customized educational programs to fit the needs of the industry.

    Learn more here
  • registration of new products

    The Ministry of Health offers this service for food, cosmetics, biomedical equipment and materials, pharmaceuticals and natural health supplements.

  • 7.latin american headquarters of the FDA

    It facilitates information exchange, works closely with regulatory authorities, industry and academia; collaborates with regulated industries in the region that wish to export their products to the U.S.

  • 8.additional incentives

    Fast track immigration procedures, online customs expedited with transparency, and the most attractive tax incentives package in Latin America.

Finally, Costa Rica ranks amongst the top 2 most politically stable and consolidated democracies in Latin America providing the ideal climate to reduce risk and safeguard long-term investment.

Come and see it for yourself!

Life Sciences Sector executive contacts