San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

President Applauds Export-Sector Growth

ACCORDING to the Central Bank,Costa Rican exports have increased by anaverage of 9% during the past decade,with a 10.5% increase in January-October2004 (not including exports from Intel deCosta Rica) when compared to the sameperiod in 2003.This growth in the export sectorhelped the national economy grow 6.5%in real terms in 2003, according to a statementfrom President Abel Pacheco’s economicteam.In a speech to business executives andexporters assembled for NationalExporter’s Day Dec. 2, Pacheco attributedthe country’s export growth to progressiveexport policies, attraction of foreigninvestment, and the successful negotiationof free-trade agreements with the UnitedStates and with Caribbean countries.The President said Costa Rica longattempted to strengthen its economy byconcentrating on its internal marketsrather than export possibilities, and calledthe country’s export growth over the pasttwo decades “a real revolution.”Statistics from the Foreign TradePromotion Office (PROCOMER) showfood exports grew 26.4% from January-October of this year when compared tothe same period in 2003, while manufacturing(without Intel) grew close to 10%,and agricultural exports 7.3%. (Exportstatistics are commonly provided withoutIntel because including the technologygiant’s export figures creates a misleadingpicture of national export trends.)Costa Rica exports 3,565 differentproducts to more than 138 destinations.In addition, Costa Rica is the highestrankedLatin American country in theHigh Technology Index and is among the30 principal international exporters ofhigh technology products.

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