San Jose, April 23, 2020. The export of goods from Costa Rica started the year out on a positive note with a 10% increase for Q1 of 2020, compared to the same period last year, with an additional $265 million US dollars for a total of $3,052 million US dollars.
Service exports closed 2019 with great success, reaching $9,503 million US dollars, with a 5% increase, or an additional $413 million US dollars, over 2018.
Combining the exports of goods and services for 2019 results in a total of $20,999 million US dollars for the country, which is twice the amount exported in 2009 when shipments reached $10,477 million US dollars.
According to the Minister of Foreign Trade, and President of the Board of Directors of PROCOMER, Dyalá Jiménez, these figures demonstrate that the country boasts solid commercial policies that allow Costa Rica to place goods and services in various parts of the world, as well as ample diversification which has allowed the export sector to grow and innovate over time.
“Exports represent 34% of the country’s GDP and we are very pleased to see that we started the year out strong in goods, and that services did so well last year. However, we are also aware that we are facing a global crisis due to the COVID-19 pandemic and that coming months may affect these positive numbers. So, far from letting our guard down, we must continue to think of ways to cope with the current situation. We have faced and overcome difficult situations in the past and the Foreign Trade sector (COMEX, PROCOMER and CINDE) has redoubled its efforts to accompany and support the companies we serve,” assured Jiménez.
Jiménez reiterated that the diversification
of products and destinations helps buffer the impact of this complex
Pedro Beirute, General Manager at PROCOMER, went on to say that the institution is firmly commited to accompany the entire export sector to ensure that these numbers remain positive and the crisis has less of an impact.“ We have the tools that we have made available to the sector, permanently and now online, to face this emergency, and we have also created a Relief Program, which, in conjunction with strategic partners, aims to support export companies during this time of crisis. We must continue to innovate and adapt to the circumstances,” he emphasized.
Goods Q1 2020
The 10% growth observed for goods during this period, when compared to 2019, is the largest increment over the last five years.
The sectors that contributed to this increase include precision and medical equipment with a 23% increase in exports, followed by the agricultural sector, presenting a recovery and growth of 4%, the food industry with a 7% increase, chemical pharmaceutical with a 4% increase, metal mechanics with an 8% increase, livestock and fishing with a 7% increase, and others.
The most dynamic products include medical devices (+ $171 million US dollars), coffee (+ $19 million US dollars), syrups for carbonated drinks (+ $19 million US dollars), parts of devices for measuring electrical quantities (+ $15 million US dollars), iron or steel bars (+ $12 million US dollars), beef (+ $12 million US dollars), bananas (+ $11 million US dollars), and devices for use in ostomies (+ $5 million US dollars).
In addition to this, all destination regions for Costa Rican exports also presented an increase: Asia + $39 million US dollars, North America + $191 million US dollars, Europe + $2 million US dollars, Central America + $7 million US dollars, the Caribbean + $8 million US dollars and South America + $15 million US dollars.
Services and FDI for 2019
The export of services for 2019 closed at $9,503 million US dollars, a 5% increase over 2018. The IT, travel (tourism, health and education) and sophisticated business services sectors presented great dynamism in 2019, all registering a greater increase than the sector as a whole (5%).
The sectors of other business services and computer science, information and telecommunications, which together represent 49% of all services, presented an increase of $152 million US dollars and $88 million US dollars, respectively. The travel sector (tourism, health and education), for its part, presented an increase of $204 million US dollars and represents 42% of the services sector.
Foreign direct investment registered a total of $2,536 million US dollars by the end of 2019, a 13.4% over 2018, which is encouraging considering the downward trend observed for FDI across the globe. This increase reflects the trust that multinational companies already established in Costa Rica have in reinvesting in our country. In the context of COVID-19, we continue to work hand in hand with companies to ensure their business continuity, which in turn contributes to sustaining the employability of the more than 120,000 people who work there. “Together with COMEX and PROCOMER, we are working to visualize those areas of opportunity that may arise in this field in the recovery and reconstruction that awaits us in the country and the rest of the world,” said Jorge Sequeira Picado, General Director of CINDE.
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