News, Insights and Best Practices for Manufacturing in Mexico

Costa Rica Joins Pacific Alliance as Top Medical Device Exporter

25 Apr 2014

Category: Politics & Regulations

Costa Rica is becoming a major source for medical equipment, which it exports to other countries. According to the Tico Times, 13.5 percent of its exports in 2013 were medical supplies. In 1999, that number was only 1.8 percent

Manufacturers' Monthly reports that the Costa Rican Investment Promotion Agency is working actively to promote biomedical research on the island. A recent law regulating research on humans is hoped to attract more companies to begin working in Costa Rica.

Mexico, Costa Rica and the Pacific Alliance
Meanwhile, Mexico continues be progressing in its trade agreements with other countries. Mexico has belonged to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development since 1994, according to the Merco Press. It has recently joined the Pacific Alliance as well. Recently, Mexico's Economy Secretary Ildefonso Guajardo Villarreal and the chairman of OECD, José Ángel Gurría Treviño, met to discuss value chains. In particular, they discussed the relationship between the Pacific Alliance and the OECD. Many members of the Pacific Alliance have made requests to join the OECD, such as Colombia and Peru.

Costa Rica and Panama are both candidates in the process of joining the Pacific Alliance.

Costa Rica's president considers himself a moderate
According to the Miami Herald, Costa Rica will position itself as a country in line with European and U.S. leaders who follow a moderate leftist program.

Luis Guillermo Solis, the president elect of Costa Rica, said he plans to build connections with Brazil and other South American Countries.

"Costa Rica will not become part of the ALBA [Bolivarian Alliance for the Americas] bloc, but will continue to have very good relations as it has had until now with ALBA-member countries," Solis said in an interview with the Miami Herald. "I am not afraid of having good relations with many of these countries."

Solis won his position in a landslide election after his main rival withdrew from the race. His is a former diplomat who used to teach international affairs at Florida International University's Latin American and Caribbean Center in Miami in 1999. Regarding the recent decision by Bank of America and Intel to both leave the country, Solis replied that it had "nothing to do with my statements, nor my election, nor with Costa Rica's domestic market conditions."

"We have also received news in recent days of new investments that will be coming, in amounts that probably will come close to the number of jobs that were lost after the Intel and Bank of America decisions," Solis added.

According to the Miami Herald, most Central American experts believe that Solis will be a positive influence on the country. One such expert, Manuel Orozco, predicts that there will not be major changes. He added that Costa Rica has experienced growth of 4 percent annually for several years in a row, and it is unlikely that Solis will try to do anything to upset that.

The past decade of Latin America
The trade pact between Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru has led to a strong economic boost for Mexico, as it adds another opportunity for free trade on the list of Mexico's many trade agreements around the world, according to the Financial Times (FT).

Costa Rica has called the pact "inspiring," and if it joins, it will be a strong boost to Costa Rica's economy. The Pacific Alliance - as one single economy - counts itself as one of the 10 largest in the world, according to FT, accounting for 39 percent of Latin America's $6 trillion dollar economy and nearly half of its $144 billion foreign direct investment.

The opportunities available to Costa Rica are enough to show why it may become the next major site for offshoring.


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