The structures of the Costa Rican economy have changed dramatically
within just a few decades: Costa Rica has transformed itself from
an agrarian to a service and industrialized state. While agriculture
accounted for 23.5% of GDP in 1965, it made up only 7.8% in 2001;
in contrast, services and industry make up 65% and 20% respectively.
Agriculture remains of great significance for the labor market,
with a share of 20%.
The Costa Rican economy grew at a healthy 5.6% in 2003, with growth
estimates exceeding 4% for 2004. Compared with its Central American
neighbors, Costa Rica has achieved a high standard of living and
an unemployment rate of 6.3%.
Costa Rica's industry mainly processes agricultural products.
The production of other consumer goods is still just taking off.
However, there are many business incentives to bridge these gaps.
Many real estate investors fall in love with tourist projects,
especially those related to ecotourism. Many hotels are being
built, bought and managed by foreigners. Tourism has developed
into a very important source of foreign currency. The national
economy is made up of services (58%), industry (26%), and agriculture
Costa Rica has managed to create one of the most attractive investment
environments in Latin America for the development of industries.
Costa Rica's unique characteristic is its strategic location,
political stability, business incentives (including free trade
zones), supply of high quality human capital and its proactive
promotion of these assets have all contributed to an increase
of investments by high-tech companies in the fields of power technologies,
systems integration technologies and call centers.
There are some 150 + American companies that are in Costa Rica.
This is just a partial list:
Bristol Myers Squibb Chiquita
Cisco Systems Inc. Citibank N.A.
Conair Corp. Continental Airlines
Del Monte Delta Airlines
DHL Dole Foods
Equifax Credit Info Serv. Ernst & Young Global
Exxon Federal Express
General Electric GTE Telecom
Hilton Hotels H. J. Heinz
IBM Johnson & Johnson
Kentucky Fried Chicken Kimberly-Clark
Intel L.L. Bean
Lucent Technologies Marriot
McDonalds Corporation Microsoft
Oracle Payless Shoes
Penzoil-Quaker State Pfizer
Phillip Morris International Pricesmart Inc.
PriceWaterHouseCoopers Proctor & Gamble
Radisson Hotels International Rohm and Haas Co.
Sara Lee S.C. Johnson & Son
Seaboard Marine Sylvania
Sony Music TCBY Yogurt
Texaco Tommy Hilfiger USA
Tyco 3 Com
3M Company Union Apparrel
Unisys Corp. United Airlines
United Parcel Service Wal-Mart
Warner Lambert Co. Western Union